Cover image: Ukraine and Crimea

Ukraine and Crimea

The situation in Ukraine and Crimea is changing from hour to hour. Your pupils may understandably have questions and concerns. This feature points you to a few sources of background information, plus ideas for exploring the crisis in class. As the situation is continuously unfolding, we suggest you keep monitoring news sites for updates. Do let us know, either by email to, or in the comments box below, if you have suggestions for additional resources or useful approaches for exploring this issue.

News, factual, opinion

BBC News - Ukraine Crisis in Maps - there are also tabs to other aspects of the crisis which you may find useful Daily chart: Hammer and scythe - shows various maps of Europe from 1938 to the present (Economist, 20 Mar 2014) Time to see the world through Russian eyes? - Jon Snow's 'Snowblog' (17 Mar 2014) The maps which explain the Ukraine crisis (Telegraph, 4 Mar 2014) Russia and Ukraine: the military imbalance (Guardian, 3 Mar 2014) Inside Crimea: A Jewel in Two Crowns (National Geographic, 28 Feb 2014) Also: After Ukraine Crisis, Why Crimea Matters (24 Feb 2014) 9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarassed to ask (Washington Post, 30 Jan 2014) Kyiv Post - English-language newspaper from Ukraine Moscow Times and Pravda - English-language news from Russia

Teaching resources

News and teaching resources round-up on the Ukraine crisis (Guardian Teacher Network, 8 Mar 2014) How to talk to your students about the Ukraine crisis (TES, 3 Mar 2014) Europe's two biggest states on brink of conflict (The Day, 3 Mar 2014), Russia invades Crimea sparking cold war fears (The Day, 4 Mar 2014) and The world rejects Crimea's referendum (The Day, 18 Mar 2014) The Day is a news website for schools, subscription based, with a limited number of free articles. These articles provide summaries and includes suggestions for teaching and learning activities. Teaching with the News: Ukraine, Russia and Crimea (2 Mar 2014, from a US teacher's blog) Kiev in Chaos: Teaching About the Crisis in Ukraine (New York Times, 25 Feb 2014) Aimed at US-based teachers, this suggests activities based on New York Times articles. Britain was involved in the Crimean War of 1853-56 (where Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole worked nursing wounded soldiers). The National Archives online exhibition British Battles - Crimea, 1854 is a useful resource here.

Political cartoons

Your pupils could look at the following political cartoons and analyse what message they are trying to convey: Sochi Olympic Mascots driving a tank into Crimea Ukraine and the bear Ukraine as molotov cocktail Ukrainian politics Guardian, Martin Rowson: Russia's grip on Crimea and 'He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone'

Useful links for exploring issues of peace and conflict

Peace Education Network: Education for Peace A series of articles exploring peace education Purple Wagon website US-based site aimed at supporting teachers and parents in talking to children about war and terrorism; including useful guidance: Talking with Children when the Talking Gets Tough (PDF) Oxfam: Making Sense of World Conflicts A set of teaching resources for Key Stage 3 RGS: The geography of conflict Key Stage 3 teaching resources drawing on recent conflicts in such as those in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan International Committee of the Red Cross: Exploring Humanitarian Law Secondary school resources exploring the rules governing armed conflict British Red Cross: Teaching Resources Mainly for Key Stage 3, many of these quick activities and lesson plans explore ways to deal with the effects of conflict The photo at the top of the page is Pysanky in Bowl by GWP Photography on and is used under a Creative Commons Licence. A 'pysanka' is an egg decorated (for Easter) with traditional Ukrainian folk designs. You could use Flickr or other photo sharing websites to explore the art, culture and landscapes of Ukraine and Crimea.