WXXI Education curated a list of resources to help adults (parents, caregivers, educators) discuss emergencies, news headlines and when tragedy strikes.
Learn how to use discussion prompts, media, songs, books and activities to calm young people’s fears, stimulate their minds, and encourage them to think about their place in today’s world. This list includes the best in public media resources from PBS KIDS for Parents, Arthur, Mister Rogers, Sesame Street in Communities, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS Newshour Extra and PBS LearningMedia to assist you.
For Younger Children
These resources are appropriate for students PreK-5th grade.
PBS KIDS: When Something Scary Happens
These resources to help families cope in emergencies and other challenging times. The collection includes helpful items from Daniel Tiger and Arthur, such as:
- How to make a family plan for emergencies
- Video clips, songs and discussions when scary things happen
- Activities and books to help with emotions and understanding.
PBS KIDS for Parents Talking with Kids About the News:
- Find out what your child knows about the news.
- Listen to what your child tells you.
- Ask a follow-up question.
- Shield children under age eight from disturbing news.
- Avoid repeated TV viewings of the same news event.
- Monitor older children’s exposure to the news.
- Develop an ongoing dialogue with your child about what’s happening in the world.
- Lean on helpful resources:
Sesame Street in Communities Toolkits:
- Community Violence: It’s hard to know how to help young children understand and cope with the effects of violence, but there are ways to help them feel safer and more secure… and build hope for a more peaceful, kinder future.
- Handling Emergencies: Help parents and caregivers speak with children about emergencies and prepare in advance.
- When Families Grieve: Presents families’ personal stories about coping with the death of a parent and difficult life transitions as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward.
- Traumatic Experiences: Caring grown-ups can help lessen the effects of trauma and show children they’re not alone.
This list of resources includes articles and listening opportunities for adults that support children – focusing on how to approach talking about “terrible things” and strategies for having meaningful conversations about difficult topics.
- How to Talk With Kids About Terrible Things
For Older Students
These resources are appropriate for middle and high school level students.
PBS NewsHour Resources:
- PBS NewsHour Classroom Collection on PBS LearningMedia: This collection of daily and weekly news helps teachers and students identify the who, what, when, where, and why-it-matters of major national and international news stories. Created for educators to use with students in grades 7-12, the Latest News Story takes the best of the PBS NewsHour news program and pairs it with discussion questions, lesson plans, and stories developed specifically for students. Topics such as Civics and Social Studies, Media Literacy, STEM, English, Arts & Culture, Lessons and Activities give you the toolkit you need. to work with students.
KQED’s Above the Noise Collection:
- Above the Noise Collection: Cutting Through The Hype: A collection of video prompts to disucss current issues of interest with teens. Above the Noise host Myles Bess takes viewers along on his journey to cut through the hype surrounding controversial topics in the news to find out what’s really going on. Topics are updated regularly and address what teens are hearing about and give them ways to engage, think critically, and consider issues of the day that have meaning for them.