George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resources for Responding to Trauma and Tragedy

Review approaches to support students who have experienced trauma, learn how to help grieving students, and find guidance on coping with violence and disaster.
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Understanding Trauma’s Effects on Learning

  • Schools That Separate the Child From the Trauma: Learn how schools are working to understand the effects of adverse childhood experiences and how schools can work build environments in which children feel safe and can build resilience. (The New York Times, 2013)
  • How Teachers Help Students Who've Survived Trauma: Read about how experiences with trauma impact student learning, and review several expert suggestions on ways that educators and schools can help. (The Atlantic, 2014)
  • Helping Kids Recover From Trauma: Discover how resilience can be fostered by supportive factors in schools, and discover takeaways from research. (Edutopia, 2009)
  • Childhood Trauma and Positive Health: Learn more about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how they can impact a child’s developing brain and are linked to high-risk behaviors, chronic diseases, and negative health outcomes in adulthood. (The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2017)

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Helping Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

  • Brains in Pain Cannot Learn: Learn three ways to calm the stress response in students affected by anxiety or depression. (Edutopia, 2016)
  • How Not to Be a Mountain Troll: Take a look at four trust-builders that educators can use to build trust with students, especially with vulnerable students for whom adults have historically represented danger and uncertainty. (ASCD’s Educational Leadership, 2015)
  • 8 Ways to Support Students Who Experience Trauma: Read about eight strategies for positively supporting students who may have experienced trauma. (Edutopia Community, 2014)
  • Emotional Recovery Begins With Teachers: Examine five RULER-based suggestions (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions) for helping adults and children cope with the aftermath of school violence or other experiences with trauma. (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence)
  • Activities to Help Students Cope With Traumatic Experiences: Discover games, videos, and other activities to help children endure traumatic experiences. (Sesame Street in Communities)

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School-Wide Approaches to Addressing Trauma

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Strategies for Coping With Violence and Disaster

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Supporting Grieving Students

  • Supporting Grieving Students: Explore guidance and resources to help with the difficult task of reaching out to grieving students. (Edutopia, 2015)
  • 5 Tips for Supporting Grieving Students: Consider printing out these five tips as a reference to help support students who are coping with the death of the friend or family member. (Edutopia, 2013)

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