Looking to Educate Kids About Ukraine-Russia War?
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has worsened: Russian troops have invaded and now control several areas in Ukraine. The president of Ukraine has declared martial law in response to the Russian invasion. This is causing fear and worry among children and other young people. If you are an educator and looking for ideas on how to educate kids about Ukraine Russian War, read on.
Psychologists are concerned that the children who have already experienced a pandemic and now are witnessing a war between two countries may be adversely affected. These major events are good enough reasons for even adults to not feel hopeful about the future, and here we are talking about kids. This is why it is important to educate kids about the Ukraine Russian war and handle the situation with care. As educators, we’re all worried about the people in Ukraine, but there’s another worry lurking at the back of our minds. We’re worried about what this conflict means for the children. How do we explain a war to them? In response to this, I felt the need to take some responsibility and put together a guide for educators on how to explain this situation to children, and how to use the backdrop of war to educate them.
Such topics don’t deserve a monologue. It deserves discussion and open dialogue. These discussions and dialogue have the potential to open up their minds. You can start by talking to your kids about what’s happening in the world, even if they don’t ask you about it. If they’re old enough to understand, they might form their own not-so-well-informed opinions about the situation. It’s better to have a conversation with them about the ongoing war instead of not talking about it at all, or worse, avoiding their questions. It’s our responsibility to help them understand the situation better and meaningfully engage them.
Educate Kids About Ukraine Russia War – Build Empathy
Talk about how soldiers in both countries are feeling and why they are fighting. You should also be encouraging kids to think about what they could do if they were in a conflict with someone.
Help them understand that people from all over the world are feeling the impact of the war. Ask them questions that allow them to empathize and express themselves. Ask them the following questions and involve them actively.
- How do you think the soldiers would be feeling?
- How do you think the people of Russia and Ukraine would be feeling?
- How are foreign nationals living in Ukraine feeling?
Show them pictures of kindness from the war. In fact they could create a collage of pictures of kindness from the war. Students can either express through role-plays, verbally or simply write down their feelings. Don’t invalidate any of their feelings and be open to what they have to say. If they make any factual mistakes, feel free to correct them. In fact state facts before you start this exercise.
Educate Kids About Ukraine Russia War – Nurture Critical Thinking
One way to help students become more involved and think of ideas is to have them research the different sides of the argument, encourage them to come up with their own ideas, and teach them how to use critical thinking skills when analyzing information.
Some ways to engage kids in this topic include: Hold a discussion about the war. Have students read articles on the topic and discuss them. Have them write articles on the war or do a research project on it. Explain your country’s role in this situation. They could work on the following projects.
- Investigate and present the current situation
- Ask them to find out what’s the role of the UN?
- Role Play – Imagine you are a global leader, strategize along with your group on ‘how to end this war’.
Once again, ask them to critically examine the role and share what would they do differently. Every student has a mind of their own, allow them to speak their mind.