Regardless of your teaching or parenting context, I think it's an important news story to unpack with students, and thanks to several colleagues who shared some timely resources with me, I would like to offer some ideas for how you might do this with your own students, Grade 4 and up...
After a brief introduction summarizing/acknowledging the events of the weekend, you might share a news article and brief video like this one, from CP 24. While students are watching, I would have them consider certain questions or ideas. Below are some examples I'll be sharing with my class:
Provide Open Space for Dialogue
Classrooms come with a diversity of opinions and personal biases. Encourage students to consider their own biases as they explore their reactions to what happened. Building in structures like "think-pair-share" may allow students more opportunity to talk with others about their feelings.
While you want students to share authentically, it's also important to reinforce the respectful "talk moves" you've hopefully been teaching students all year. It's okay to disagree, but it must be done respectfully. Questions, rather than openly stated disagreements, can be powerful ways to find out more.
Inviting parents and families into the conversation helps to extend the dialogue at home.
Unpacking isn't enough... students need to feel empowered to do something. Taking the conversation further is one idea, especially for older students. Here is a newscast by Desmond Cole. In it, he addresses the massacre, and talks with various guests about the multiple facets of one's identity, and intersectionality. This might be assigned for students to share at home with family, thereby extending the conversation beyond the classroom walls.
Finding ways to celebrate diversity and challenge homophobia and islamophobia at school are additional important extensions to the conversation.
How will YOU be unpacking this with the young people in your life? I look forward to your responses -- feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me directly.