Lesson plans for ages 9-11 in Geography: Refugees - Who, Where and Why?

Teaching Tools, 25 March 2007

© UNHCR/M.Sunjic
Young asylum seekers from Chechnya are all ears as a class begins at the Ciolka Street reception centre in Warsaw.

LESSON 1: Make a Little Difference

Preparation

Have ready the video To be a Refugee and a class set of the accompanying Activity Sheet provided in this lesson plan. (The video is available, free of charge, from the Public Information Section, UNHCR, PO Box 2500, 1211 Geneva 2, SWITZERLAND).

Procedure

This lesson can be launched by asking the students the open-ended question "What do you think a refugee is?" Encourage the students to listen to each other's response to this question and then settle the class down to watch the video To be a Refugee.

The video is short, lasting about 15 minutes, so there should be sufficient class time to stop the video from time to time to explain or ask questions to check the comprehension of the young students, and to stimulate and encourage empathy for children who have had to flee their homes.

As a permanent record of the lesson, and to reinforce the ideas introduced by the video, students should complete the accompanying worksheet To be a Refugee. The teacher should lead the students through, question by question, fostering discussion along the way.