Resources for Educators, Parents, and Caregivers
PBS LearningMedia & PBS KIDS Resources
Below you will find educator and parent resources. These resources can also be used by anyone who has a young person in their lives to offer support.
Sesame Street in Communities: 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.
Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News
In times of community or world-wide crisis, it's easy to assume that young children don't know what's going on. But one thing's for sure -- children are very sensitive to how their parents feel. They're keenly aware of the expressions on their parents' faces and the tone of their voices. Children can sense when their parents are really worried, whether they're watching the news or talking about it with others. No matter what children know about a “crisis,” it’s especially scary for children to realize that their parents are scared.
Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories
It’s not just about turning off the TV news when your kindergartner is in the room. Kids watch us respond to events, they hear kids talking at recess, and they peek over our shoulder and see headlines, social media posts, or breaking news alerts flashing on our smartphone or tablet. And they have questions. The trick for parents is knowing what to do next.
Arthur: Helping Kids During Challenging Times
What can we say to children when public tragedies, natural disasters, and upsetting events occur? How can we support our children during challenging times? And how can empathy build social skills? Here are some resources, activities, and videos to help you and your child cope and build resilience.
Becoming Brave: Help Your Child Move Past Fear
What does it mean to be brave? If you ask your child this question, your child will probably say that being brave means not being afraid. That’s the wrong answer. It’s also an answer that keeps kids from becoming brave. Bravery doesn’t mean fearlessness. It means doing something even though we’re scared. To become brave, children need to learn to tolerate feeling scared and not let fear hold them back.
Helping Kids Express Their Emotions
Emotions can be a big experience, and children may not yet know how to handle them. And if a grown-up didn’t have the experience of learning to express their emotions as a child, it can feel like a tough task to help our children express their emotions.
PBS KIDS Talk About: Race & Racism
Video and activities: In the PBS KIDS Talk About: Race & Racism special, PBS KIDS spoke with real families and had conversations about racial identity, anti-Black racism, and how it is incumbent on all of us — children and parents alike — to actively work towards building a more equitable society.
Meet the Helpers
Many children have questions and can feel uneasy when emergencies occur in their communities. The Meet the Helpers toolkit is designed to introduce “helpers” and explain the role they play in emergency situations. Included in the toolkit are videos and hands-on activities that provide educators and families with developmentally appropriate resources for young children.
When Something Scary Happens
Videos and activities: PBS KIDS resources to help families cope in emergencies and other challenging times.
TWEENS & TEENS
Should We Change the Way We Designate Hate Crimes? | Above the Noise
Video and activity: Even though overall hate crimes fell in 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes grew nearly 150% in major US cities. Myles teams up with student reporters at Cleveland Heights High School in Ohio and youth activists in Alameda, California to explore why it's so hard to get racist violence charged as a hate crime--and ways to stop hate crimes from happening in the first place. Watch and weigh in: Should we change the way we designate hate crimes?
Where Tragedy Turned to Transformation: Newtown Families Make Promise for Change
Video and discussion questions, one year after Sandy Hook: The horrific incident sparked a national debate on guns in the U.S., but little action. Federal legislation to expand background checks for gun owners failed, and momentum gained by gun control advocates failed. While states have signed 109 gun bills into law in the time since the massacre, only 39 tightened gun restrictions while 70 loosened them. Some of the parents of Newtown victims are also getting involved in activism, hoping that their losses can spur positive change.
Not in Our Town
Videos and discussion guide: Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness documents the story of a town standing together to take action after a hate crime killing devastates their community and highlights how they work together to stop hate.
Helping Children after Trauma | STEAM: Ideas That Shape Our World
Videos: At age 10, William Kellibrew witnessed the murders of his mother and brother in 1984. After years of therapy, he became a victim advocate, helping others who have experienced trauma. He spoke as part of the 2017 IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY.
What Can We Learn from the Parkland School Shooting? | PBS NewsHour
Video and discussion questions: A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a northern Miami suburb, killed 17 people on February 14 in the fifth school shooting of 2018 resulting in casualties. Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student who had been expelled from Stoneman, was arrested soon after the shooting. He had legally purchased the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the assault.
How Should Elected Officials React to Mass Shootings? | PBS NewsHour
Video and discussion questions: On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas, where 22,000 people had gathered. The gunman, 63-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed 58 people and injured more than 500, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Law enforcement officials found 23 firearms in Paddock's hotel room and 19 at his home in Mesquite, Nevada.
What Do El Paso, Dayton Gun Massacres Say about America? | PBS NewsHour
Videos and discussion questions: Terror and tragedy grip America with two deadly mass shootings in less than 24 hours. In downtown Dayton, Ohio, a gunman killed nine people, including his own sister, at approximately 1 am Sunday, August 4. Police said the carnage lasted less than a minute before they arrived on the scene and killed the shooter. On Saturday, just 13 hours earlier in El Paso, Texas, a mass shooting in a Walmart left 20 people dead and wounded at least 26 others. Investigators are treating the massacre as a case of domestic terrorism and will file capital murder charges against the suspect, now in custody. They are also trying to determine if an anti-immigrant “manifesto” posted online was penned by the alleged 21-year-old white male shooter.
Resilience in the Classroom
Trauma-Informed Care Professional Development for Educators: Resilience: Hope Lives Here investigates Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which include abuse, neglect, divorce and other childhood traumas. Research shows that left unresolved or untreated, these experiences can lead to health conditions in adulthood — such as high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
QUEST | Lesson Plan Clips
Videos and lesson plan: Significant trauma, including witnessing or experiencing violence, is a fact of life for many students. Left unaddressed, that trauma can be an obstacle to learning. Teachers, who are typically asked to focus on cognitive rather than affective learning, sometimes feel ill-equipped to help students process their experiences. This lesson provides a curriculum-connected place to start.
Talking About Race
Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. Through a variety of topics and prompts for personal reflection and group discussion, the National Museum of African American History and Culture provides tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation, whether you’re an educator, caregiver or person committed to equity. Topic themes include: historical understanding, community building, personal reflection, and committed anti-racist practice.
Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism
This PBS KIDS for Parents-hosted conversation features fellow parents, educators, child development and trauma experts who join us to share tips and resources for how to talk with young children about racial injustice and violence against Black people. Explore questions such as: How can parents of Black children continue to instill confidence and pride in young kids while also explaining the racial inequity and barriers that continue today? And, how can parents of non-Black children help young kids understand their role in confronting anti-Black racism? Hear questions from fellow parents and learn tips and resources you can use to continue to have these meaningful conversations now and into the future.