Talking to Students About Russia’s War On Ukraine

Resources and tools to provide students and educators with basic facts, support student well-being, and tools for media literacy.

Editor’s Note: The resources provided are intended to support educator and student understanding around the current conflict in Ukraine and media literacy around breaking news stories. The content provided on these websites may not represent the viewpoints and values of OSPI and are provided as a reference to start conversations.

Image of Ukraine’s flag.

Last week, Russia moved to war against Ukraine. Images of war can create stress and trauma. Many of our Washington families have connections to Ukraine, Russia, and the surrounding nations and may have strong feelings and responses to the current situation. We have provided social-emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed resources to help educators engage students and communities in ways that maintain a positive and safe learning environment.

This war is being covered by both traditional news organizations and by Ukrainians and Russians on social media sites like TikTok. The resources below are intended to provide students with basic facts about the situation and tools to support media literacy as students and educators evaluate the validity of the media they are consuming.

Resources for Teaching About the War in Ukraine

Map of Eastern Europe showing Ukraine and Russia.

Social and Emotional Learning Resources for Families & Educators to Support Students

For All Ages

For Elementary/Middle School Students

Trauma-Informed Resources for School Systems

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources that can be filtered by topic or keyword and by audience with a focus on how adults can identify traumatic responses in young people and how to support them.

Podcasts, Articles, and Books on Russia & Ukraine

Alignment with Social Studies Standards

Current events also provide an opportunity to address the Washington Social Studies standards. The Washington Social Studies standards include the following relevant connections:

  • SSS1.5.1 — Evaluate the relevance of facts used in forming a position on an issue or event.
  • SSS1.9–12.4 — Gather relevant information from multiple sources representing a wide range of views while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corrobora­tive value of the sources to guide the selection.
  • SSS3.2.1 — Identify and explain a range of local, regional, and global problems, and some ways in which people are trying to address them.
  • SSS4.2.2 — Evaluate a source by distinguishing between fact and opinion.
  • C1.5.4 — Identify the beliefs, experiences, perspectives, and values that underlie their own and others’ points of view about civic issues.
  • C3.6–8.1 — Analyze how societies have interacted with one another.
  • G1.6–8.2 — Identify the location of places and regions in the world and understand their physical and cultural char­acteristics.
  • G1.9–10.4 — Explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and their political, cultural, and ec­onomic dynamics, using maps, satellite images, photo­graphs, and other representations.

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Except where otherwise noted, content by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Led by Supt. Chris Reykdal, OSPI is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state.

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