Responding to Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

Facing History and Ourselves
Protest at the U.S. Capitol

A teacher's guide to facilitate conversations about the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In his 1963 essay “A Talk to Teachers,” James Baldwin wrote: “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”  In the events surrounding the recent presidential election in the United States, the essential truth of Baldwin’s statement resonates anew.

This week’s news alone, including the historic results of the Georgia senatorial runoff election and the attack on Congress, is provoking a whirlwind of conflicting emotions among Americans, as many are simultaneously buoyed by the expanding representation in our government and disturbed, angered, and frightened by the attack on the halls of Congress and our democratic system of government. In the days following these events, students will need opportunities to feel and express their emotions as well as support in separating facts from misinformation and sharing the news responsibly.

This Teaching Idea is designed to help guide an initial classroom reflection on the insurrection at the US Capitol that occurred on January 6, 2021. We will continue to publish resources on our Current Events as this story evolves over the coming weeks.


Area of Work

  • FE - Family Engagement
  • DS&Y - Day Schools and Yeshivas
  • CL - Congregational Learning
  • AS&B - After School and Beyond
  • T - Teens

Resource Type

  • Lesson

Resource Topic

  • Civic Education


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