Conflict in Ukraine 

Resource Guide

Last modified 4/18/22

Note: For an accessible version of this resource, visit the word file of this Conflict in Ukraine Resource Guide.  

Part 1: Resources to Support Instruction and Discussion

With the developing situation in Ukraine following invasion by the Russian Federation, teachers may find themselves fielding the same questions that students ask when international conflicts, war, or humanitarian crises make the news: Why is this happening? And to what extent is the U.S. involved? This guide is meant to help teachers better understand the current issues and events surrounding the geopolitical tensions developing over Ukraine involving the Russian Federation, the United States, the United Kingdom, and others. The resources in this guide not only provide context and understanding of the invasion currently unfolding across the media landscape, but also of the broader conflict informing and shaping the events that have transpired. With some planning these resources serve as useful documents for instruction. For more information or additional support see Current Events and Civics Education. While the resources in the guide are current as of the date published, new information may develop rapidly. Resources will be updated periodically as events continue.



Associated Press, Sanctions vs. Neutrality: Swiss Fine-Tune Response to Russia

This article discusses how the Russian Federation’s decision to invade Ukraine led to Switzerland's break in their long-held international stance of neutrality, and pledge to follow the European Union’s list of sanctions.

Brown University, Choices Program, The Ukraine Crisis

In this three-part lesson students explore the background to the current situation in Ukraine and its historical origins, analyze political cartoons about the crisis, and conduct cursory research in order to monitor the crisis and consider international responses.

BBC News, Why is Russia Invading Ukraine and What Does Putin Want?

A resource providing background information about conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its impact.

California History-Social Science Project, Invasion of Ukraine: In The News Resources

A collection of resources shared by journalists, scholars, and educators online, as well as from professors on our University of California system campuses.

EducationWeek, Why the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Is Relevant to Teachers

Article that details the reasons for and the challenges of teaching about the Russian-Ukraine crisis.

Facing History, Head, Heart, Conscience

A schema to help organize lessons with intellectual rigor, emotional engagement, and ethical reflection. This content free procedure can be used to help students to consider events in the invasion of Ukraine.

The Guardian, The Ukraine-Russia Crisis Explained: A Complete Visual Guide

A collection of visuals and informational writing grouped under big questions about the current circumstances between Russia and Ukraine.

The Guardian, ‘Peace on our continent has been shattered’: NATO chief responds to Russian Invasion of Ukraine

A video resource of NATO’s  Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

International Crisis Group, Conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas: A Visual Explainer

This visual explainer provides information about the human cost of the war and the relationships between diplomatic efforts at de-escalation and patterns of fighting and loss of life.

The Irish TImes, Africans Trying to Flee Ukraine Complain of Being Blocked and of Racist Treatment 

This article covers the racially discriminatory challenges Nigerian and Ghanaian students and families face in Ukraine while attempting to flee the conflict to neighboring nations. This source discusses sensitive content about race, it is recommended that you establish protocols to create a productive environment for discussion. For best practices access the Let’s Talk! Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics With Students Guide.

NPR, Ukraine Invasion — Explained

A collection of resources gathered from the National Public Radio including articles and podcasts.

NPR, Throughline: Ukraine’s Dangerous Independence

In this 44 minute episode of Throughline, a history podcast, hosts Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah discuss the identity and history of Ukraine leading to the current conflict with professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University, Serhii Plokhii. In addition, the episode explores the intersections of identity, power, history, and the state.

NPR, Throughline: Vladimir Putin

In this 34 minute episode of Throughline, a history podcast, the hosts trace the life of Vladimir Putin.

NPR, Planet Money, Putin's Big Bet: Sanction-Proofing Russia, & 'Fortress' Russia Put to the Test

In the first episode, host Sarah Gonzalez discusses the sanctions imposed by the United States and others against the Russian Federation following its invasion of Ukraine with Sr. Fellow at the Economic Statecraft Initiative, Brian O’Toole. In the second episode, hosts Darian Woods and Adrian Ma examine sanctions on Russia’s central bank with Stanford University economist Michael S. Bernstam.

Newsela, Latest News and Context: Ukraine

A collection with resources at three grade bands includes teaching strategies, explainer content for background context, and up-to-date information needed to address the Russia-Ukraine conflict. (Log-in required, Newsela is available free for all NYCDOE teachers and students.)

News Literacy Project, Practice Good Information Hygiene: Sanitize Before You Share

This resource was created to help students respond to the misinformation swirling around the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the four-step process provides guidance for students on the importance of consuming and sharing online content with care including information that is shared about the events connected to the Russia-Ukraine Crisis. The News Literacy Project also has a helpful PDF on checking sources and avoiding Misinformation.  

New York Times, How to Think About Ukraine, in Maps and Charts

A visual explainer that provides information to respond to four questions about Ukraine and the effects of the Russian invasion of the country.

New York Times, The Invasion of Ukraine: How Russia Attacked and What Happens Next

This resource provides a summary about the current state of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

New York Times Learning Network, Lesson of the Day: ‘Can the West Stop Russia From Invading Ukraine?’

In this lesson written prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, students learn about the unfolding conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and consider what is at stake for the rest of the world.

PBS Newshour Classroom, Updates on Russia's Invasion of Ukraine with Key Historical Context Between the Two Nations and Ukrainian Parents Living Amid War Discuss the Struggle to Keep Their Families Safe

Lesson plans supported by videos from PBS’s Newshour daily news broadcast. Additionally the site provides activities where students can select from curated lists of videos along with questions aligned to the videos they select. Activities include Choose from these 7 news stories including sanctions on Russia and economic impact in U.S.and Choose from these 7 stories -- including an in-depth profile of Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Reuters Graphics, Russia Invades Ukraine

An annotated map of the Ukraine, updates are added  as events unfold.  

Visual Capitalist, Map Explainer: Key Facts About Ukraine

This is a curated collection of graphics, charts, graphs, and maps to provide background on the nation of Ukraine as well as the present crisis.

Vox, The Increasingly Complicated Russia-Ukraine Crisis, Explained

A robust explainer with curated hyperlinks that provides context for events in Ukraine, Russia geopolitical aims, and the extent to which diplomacy in the region over time has both succeeded and failed.

New York City Department of Education, Civics for All 9-12 Part 2, “What is Politics?” (p. 7)

This lesson guides students through constructing an extended definition of politics. To modify this lesson to suit teaching about the conflict in Ukraine, have students construct an extended definition of ‘politics’ per the lesson. As you examine the developing conflict, identify which definition(s) of politics most correspond with this conflict to think about how governments respond to competing political agendas, goals, and orientations.

New York City Department of Education, Civics for All 9-12 Part 1, “Digital Citizenship and Fact Checking” (p. 130) 

This lesson provides a protocol for web-based research and fact checking and may support any additional research students do in the course of discussing the conflict in Ukraine.

New York City Department of Education, Civics for All 9-12 Part 2, “Civil Political Discourse(p. 139)

This lesson provides structures to participate in a simulated civil political discourse and engage in conversations with those who have different and opposing viewpoints effectively.

Part 2: Resources to Support Mental Health & Wellness

The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine has caused significant physical and emotional trauma for citizens of Ukraine, its surrounding countries, and communities around the world. With New York City being home to the largest number of Ukranians outside of Europe, there are also many NYCDOE families and communities directly impacted. In addition, perpetuation of racism at the Ukrainian border introduces additional trauma for communities of color, reflecting the hurt, anger, and pain of generations of racial trauma. Emotional responses to these events may manifest in different ways, including anger, irritability, grief, and hopelessness. Now more than ever, we need to be well versed in understanding the signs of trauma or distress not only for our youth, but also for ourselves and our colleagues. We should also be aware of effective strategies that school communities can implement to support children and families who are struggling. To tackle these challenges, the Supportive Environment Framework identifies research-based practices that ensure physical and emotional safety, foster collaborative and trusting relationships, prioritize student health and wellness and advance equity.

Essential Questions: 

  • How can we support students, colleagues, families, and ourselves through this trauma?
  • How can we leverage restorative practices to promote healing, community, and student voice?
  • How can we attend to the mental, emotional, and physical wellness of our students, colleagues, families, and communities?



National Association for the Education of Young Children, Welcoming Refugee Children into Early Childhood Classrooms

For support welcoming and engaging refugee children in early classrooms.

New York City Department of Education, Mental Health

DOE landing page with contact information for local mental health resources, including telehealth services for students and adults.

New York City Department of Education, Supportive Environments Through Social Emotional Learning  

DOE resources to help teachers consider the social and emotional health of students, colleagues, and families.

American School Counselor Association, Anti-Racism Resources for School Counselors

Resources to help school counselors in working toward ethical, equitable and inclusive school environments while addressing the critical issues of systemic and institutional racism.

Los Angeles Unified School District, Restorative Circles

For support in using a virtual classroom community building circle.

Mental Health: Parent & Educator resources

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom:  a Resource for Educators

This resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is designed to help educators understand the interplay of race and trauma in the classroom. The guide reviews historical trauma and racial trauma, explains the impact of trauma on different age groups, and offers supplemental resources.

New York Times, How to Talk to Kids about Ukraine

Article providing guidance about how to have age-appropriate conversations with young people about the situation in Ukraine and information they may be hearing from peers or the news.

Positive Psychology, Mindfulness Techniques for Students and Staff

Calm Classroom is a simple and accessible way to integrate mindfulness into the classroom or home culture. Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to our present moment. The daily practice of mindful breathing, stretching, focusing, and relaxation exercises cultivates a greater sense of self-awareness, mental focus, and emotional resilience within educational and personal spaces.

Psychology Today, Radical Self Care in the Face of Mounting Racial Stress

Five ways to practice radical self-care in the face of mounting racial stress.

San Diego County Office of Education, Resources for Educators, Families to Discuss the Events in Ukraine with Students

Teaching resources and social-emotional resources for educators and families to engage and support students about the events happening in Ukraine.