Deep Dives

Supporting Our Students Processing News of War and Conflict

October 24, 2023

All around the world, we continue to experience conflict and violence, including the recent war in Israel and Gaza. As we watch the grief, terror, and shock of those impacted by these events, we recognize our common humanity and mourn as members of the global community. 

What can we do to support children and young people who are processing the news or asking about current events? As educators and families, we can provide safe, supportive spaces in the school, the home, and the community where children can express how they feel about these events, ask questions, and feel cared for and protected. We can rely on our social and emotional skills to be receptive to them, encourage discussion, help them heal, and invite them to recognize their own empathy as they grow into adults who work together to build a better world.

There are many resources that can help educators, families, and other adults support children and young people process conflict. We offer a few below, sourced from trusted organizations who have expertise in topics like this. We also encourage all adults to leverage their own social and emotional skills—to tend to their own well-being and ensure all kids feel safe, supported, heard, and cared for.

How to Support Students During News of Conflict and Tragedy

Resilience in a Time of War: Tips for Parents and Teachers of Elementary School Children (American Psychological Association)

How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War (Common Sense Media)

Helping Children to Cope With Tragedy (National Association of Elementary School Principals)

Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)

How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War (UNICEF)

How to Help Students Process the War in Israel and Gaza

Processing Attacks in Israel and the Outbreak of War in the Region (Facing History and Ourselves)

Resources for Educators, Families to Discuss the Events in Israel and Gaza With Students (San Diego County Office of Education)

Making a Difference in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan (PBS Learning Media)

Resources to Address and Challenge Antisemitism (Anti-Defamation League)

Countering Islamophobia (Learning for Justice)

For more resources, visit this list curated by Education Week

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