Conflict in Ukraine
Last modified 4/18/22
Note: For an accessible version of this resource, visit the word file of this Conflict in Ukraine Resource Guide.
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.
A resource providing background information about conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its impact.
A collection of resources shared by journalists, scholars, and educators online, as well as from professors on our University of California system campuses.
Article that details the reasons for and the challenges of teaching about the Russian-Ukraine crisis.
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.
A collection of visuals and informational writing grouped under big questions about the current circumstances between Russia and Ukraine.
A video resource of NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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.
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.
A collection of resources gathered from the National Public Radio including articles and podcasts.
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.
In this 34 minute episode of Throughline, a history podcast, the hosts trace the life of Vladimir Putin.
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.
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.)
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.
A visual explainer that provides information to respond to four questions about Ukraine and the effects of the Russian invasion of the country.
This resource provides a summary about the current state of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion of 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.
An annotated map of the Ukraine, updates are added as events unfold.
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.
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.
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.
For support welcoming and engaging refugee children in early classrooms.
DOE landing page with contact information for local mental health resources, including telehealth services for students and adults.
DOE resources to help teachers consider the social and emotional health of students, colleagues, and families.
Resources to help school counselors in working toward ethical, equitable and inclusive school environments while addressing the critical issues of systemic and institutional racism.
For support in using a virtual classroom community building circle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Five ways to practice radical self-care in the face of mounting racial stress.
Teaching resources and social-emotional resources for educators and families to engage and support students about the events happening in Ukraine.