Resources for Responding to Jan. 6th Events
Thursday, January 7, 2021 9:40 AM

Resources for Responding to the Events of January 6, 2021


When traumatic and disturbing things are happening in our world, they impact the entire school community. Taking time to connect with your own thoughts and feelings before thinking about if, when and how, you might connect with students is critical. We hope you are not feeling alone and isolated as you reflect on the events of January 6th and the days ahead and are able to find the time and space to care for yourselves. This is especially true for our colleagues that are Black, Brown and Indigenous People of Color. 


While talking about what is happening and the impact it is having can help create spaces that increase safety for students and adults, you know yourself and your students best.  The following ideas and resources are not meant to be exhaustive. 


Provide Words of Affirmation

Reminding students they are cared about:

  • I am here for you
  • I care about you and your well being
  • You are not alone
  • Let’s breathe together
  • You matter
  • You are important to me

Use Prompts to Foster Connection, Support, and Understanding

Strengthen student resilience by ensuring they feel heard and helping them gain a sense of control over individual circumstances. Discussion prompts (individual or group) and writing prompts are two practical ways to achieve this.

  • What are you seeing/hearing? 
  • How are you feeling about it? 
  • What do you want me to know?
  • In what ways can I support you?


Normalize their Feelings

Reassuring students the range of emotions they are feeling are valid. This can foster feelings of safety and well-being.

  • It’s normal to feel (scared, confused, anxious, angry, worried…)
  • There are a lot of people who are feeling exactly the way you are right now.


Incorporate Collaborative Journaling


Utilize Artistic Expression

  • Students and educators might prefer to process through artistic expression in place of, or in addition to, discussion.  Mo Willems: Democracy Doodle


Share and Respond to Poetry


Frames for Understanding:

  • DAM (Danger, Anxiety, Mastery) by Anne Gearity

When people feel danger, it creates anxiety and the way to begin to shift from crisis response is to take part in something that we feel knowledgeable about (mastery). This might be something that is part of daily routine for yourself (a cup of coffee, creating visuals for the day) and for your students (familiar activities, things they feel good at) that provide routine and safety. When we feel good, our bodies and brains respond positively. We feel more competent and in control.


  • FUDGE (Firsts, Uncertainty, Demands, Gear Shifts, Emotions)

When we sense danger (uncertainty, safety concerns, fear for future events, limited control over situations and environment), our stress systems turn on. Taking part in your own body awareness, working to lower your own heart rate in order to tell your body that you are safe. 


Additional Resources:



  • Voting and Elections | Resources for a Civil Classroom Even when students have witnessed disturbing events, there is often the spread of misinformation. In order to facilitate a civil discussion, this resource offers information on common themes that may emerge during the processing of the events.