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Lesson plans for ages 12-14 in Civic Education: Refugee teenagers

Teaching Tools, 17 June 2007

© UNHCR/R.LeMoyne
Refugees from Kosovo seeking safety in Macedonia, March 1999.

LESSONS 1 and 2: This is for real


UNHCR field officers in many countries have interviewed refugee teenagers and listened to their stories which reflect their different experiences. In this double lesson, students will have the opportunity to 'hear' the unique voices of refugee teenagers. Run off copies of Refugee teenagers tell their stories, to be distributed to the students. Also have available a world map to which the students can refer while reading the stories.

Have a large map of the world, and if possible, one of Africa, set up where the whole class can see them.


Begin the lesson with a few questions to set the scene:

  • What sort of events would cause the students in the class to flee their home countries at short notice?
  • How would they decide what to take with them and what to leave behind?
  • With whom would they expect to leave?
  • What sort of transport would they use to leave their home countries?
  • Where would they go to seek safety and shelter?
  • How long would they expect to spend in a country of asylum?
  • How do they expect to spend their time in the country of asylum?

Hand out the various stories of refugee teenagers and give the students class time to read through them.


Make a list of the types of help you would need if you became a refugee.