Resources For Educators on Events in Israel

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

October 2023 Social Science Newsletter


October 9, 2023

Saturday morning (local time) terrorist attacks by Hamas and Israel’s response of a declaration of war will mean an increase in fatalities and injuries on both sides. The attack is being broadcast on TV and social media. Similar to the crisis in Ukraine, the effects are far-reaching. Images of terrorist violence against children, dead bodies, gun battles, missile strikes, and destroyed cars and buildings on the news and social media can cause psychological distress among students and adults.

Oregon is home to students and staff with cultural and family ties to Israel and Palestine and has seen a rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents. As educators, we can provide a space for all community members to learn about current events, ask questions, and share thoughts.

It's likely students have been following these events, overheard conversations, and will continue to see images on social media. They will most likely be curious about the cause and impacts this war may have both globally and locally. To help students better understand this event and to place it in a broader context, we've gathered history-social science, mental health, and social and emotional learning resources to support teachers and families in assisting students. 

It is also important to recognize that the adults in student's lives, including teachers, may also experience a range of emotions from the unfolding news reports and information shared by friends and family in the region. Please take care of yourself and seek support as needed. 

The classroom resources below are intended to provide access to information. Educators know their students and school community best and should determine which resources best fit the needs of their classrooms.

Discussion, research, and teaching about the current conflict connects to many social science standards including:

 2018 or the 2021 STANDARDS IN GRADES 4th - 12th:

  • Identify political, economic, cultural, and physical conflicts, including genocide.
  • Determine the validity of multiple sources
  • Critique and analyze information including sources with conflicting information
  • Explain cooperative approaches to global problems
  • Propose a response or solution to an issue or problem utilizing research
  • Determine and explain the historical context of events in the Eastern Hemisphere
  • Describe the beliefs and influence of religions
  • Evaluate options for collective actions to global problems
  • Propose, compare, and evaluate multiple responses, alternatives, or solutions to issues or problems


Civil Discourse and Discussing Current Events:

Oregon Open Learning Resources: 

Students want and need to discuss what they observe, remember, and feel. To help students manage their emotions and experiences positively and securely, adults in schools can offer guidance and create a safe environment. Classrooms have the potential to be effective spaces for children to process current events, and educators can contribute to building these spaces for students.

When facing challenging subjects be mindful of how these events affect students. It is crucial to pay special attention to students who are Jewish or Muslim, those who have family ties to the affected region, and students who may be concerned about the potential impact of the crisis on the United States. Establishing a classroom with an atmosphere conducive to respectful and constructive dialogue is a precondition to discussing these kinds of events.


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.


October Resources and Events

This month's Social Science Newsletter features resources to explore LGBTQ+ history, Indigenous Peoples Day, and events and workshops for teachers.

LGBTQ history month

LGBTQ+ History Month

October marks LGBTQ History Month, a month-long commemoration dedicated to recognizing the significant contributions and impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals on our global history. It also serves as an opportunity to delve deeper into the historical journey of LGBTQ rights.

Originating in the United States in 1994, LGBTQ History Month revolves around National Coming Out Day on October 11th. This annual observance encourages reflection on the struggles, triumphs, and enduring resilience of the LGBTQ community throughout history. It is a time for learning, celebration, and acknowledgment of the LGBTQ community's vital role in shaping our world.

Indigenous Peoples day

Presidential Statement on Indigenous Peoples Day:

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the sovereignty, resilience, and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world; and we recommit to upholding our solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations, strengthening our Nation-to-Nation ties.

 For centuries, Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed from ancestral lands, displaced, assimilated, and banned from worshiping or performing many sacred ceremonies.  Yet today, they remain some of our greatest environmental stewards. They maintain strong religious beliefs that still feed the soul of our Nation. And they have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces at a higher rate than any other group. Native peoples challenge us to confront our past and do better, and their contributions to scholarship, law, the arts, public service, and more continue to guide us forward.

Resources from the National Museum of the American Indian

Cure for Hate

Oregon Jewish Museum & Center for Holocaust Education

In the past several years, bias and hate incidents have been on the rise. OJMCHE has teamed up with The Cure for Hate documentary team to provide a week of in-person professional development programs in Portland, Albany, Roseburg, and Medford. As part of each session, educators will have an opportunity to hear from Tony McAleer, a former Skinhead and Holocaust denier, about his time immersed in hate groups and his journey to repairing the harm he caused by combatting Holocaust denial and rising extremism. Additionally, participants will learn about resources from OJMCHE and other local and national organizations that address historical and contemporary hate, antisemitism, and extremism.

Dates and registration information below. Please note these events are for current Oregon educators only.

Wednesday, October 11 | 5-7pm | Douglas ESD
This program is sponsored by Douglas ESD. Participants will receive dinner and a stipend.

Register for The Cure for Hate at Douglas ESD

Friday, October 13 | 8:30am-3:30pm | Jackson County Health and Human Services Building 

The Cure for Hate - Film presentation, group discussions and support for teaching.This program is sponsored by Southern Oregon ESD. 

Register for The Cure for Hate at Jackson County Health and Human Services Building

Civics Learning Project

Civics Learning Project

Two recently adopted laws intended to promote robust civics education for Oregon students, are a great opportunity to revisit your civics curriculum and dive into some new civics learning. Join Civics Learning Project (formerly Classroom Law Project) on Friday, December 1 for the 2023 Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers. Registration is free to all. Oregon K-12 educators are invited to apply as Civics Scholars to receive substitute reimbursement, a travel stipend, lodging, and more. Questions? Please email Frank Honts.

Registration link


OHS Events and Workshops

Public Programs: Educator & Student Discounts to the 2024 Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series Kick-OffHatfield Series: Jonathan Eig

October 17th, 2023

Vividly written and exhaustively researched, King: A Life is the first major biography of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., in decades — and the first to include recently declassified FBI files.  Learn More. 

The Oregon Historical Society is offering $10 tickets for educators (promo code EDUCATOR2023) and $5 tickets for students (promo code STUDENT2023).

The Federal and Oregon Constitutions and Citizenship

Friday, October 27, 2023, from 9am to 4pm
Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 10am to 4pm
At the Oregon Historical Society, Portland  

Register Here

Join the Oregon Historical Society, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Civics Learning Project to learn strategies for teaching about the Federal and Oregon Constitutions and themes of citizenship, with a focus on understanding how citizenship is defined and who is included or excluded by these definitions.

October History Pub: Educator Social Hour

Monday, October 30, 2023, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
At the McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland  
Register Here

Join the Oregon Historical Society’s education staff for a unique and engaging opportunity to learn about the resources and programs OHShas available to support educators’ work in the classroom. Before the October History Pub lecture with author Julie Carr, education staff are hosting a social hour at McMenamins Kennedy School where educators can connect with fellow teachers, explore OHS educational offerings, and discover how these resources can enrich students’ learning experiences. Enjoy complimentary refreshments!


OCSS Conference

Fall Conference for K-12 Educators: Reimagining Our World Together

Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Parkrose H.S. in Portland  8:30 am - 3:00 pm

This year's conference is hosted by the Oregon State Literacy Association, the Oregon Council Teachers of English and Oregon Council of the Social Studies.

The Keynote is the highly regarded and inspirational visionary author: Penny Kittle, known for her passionate advocacy of student-centered teaching. 

😉   Meet Penny Kittle in this video

Keynote: Practices that Engage and Empower Readers and Writers Across the Content Areas

Early Bird $50 Registration Fee Includes: (fee increases to $75 on Oct. 16th) 

- over 20 engaging sessions offering classroom-ready instructional strategies from numerous expert practitioners: K through university levels

- complimentary membership in three professional organizations: OSLA, OCTE, and OSLA

- PDU certificate

Registration is now open!

Questions? Contact Penny Plavala, Board Member, Oregon State Literacy Association