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

Teaching Tools, 27 March 2007

© UNHCR/A.Rehrl/August 2, 2006
These young girls were sent to Syria with relatives, while their parents stayed in southern Lebanon to watch over their now-destroyed house, Al-Shariya high school, southern Damascus.

LESSON 3: Where Do Refugees Come From? Where Do They Go?


Have ready a class set of the Activity Sheet Refugees: Who, Where and Why?, and enough copies of an up-to-date world atlas, preferably 1 copy for every 2 students.


To provide a link to the previous lessons, spend the first few minutes on quick recall questions: Why do people leave their home countries? Why do refugees in particular leave their home countries?

After the revision questions, the students are each given a copy of the Activity Sheet: Refugees: Who, Where and Why? to complete. This can be done individually and then verbally checked, or it can be done as a class exercise. The teacher may need to provide some information sources for question 2 (newspapers/news magazines).

Finally, to help the students see that the refugee crisis is a world wide crisis, they should identify on a world map, the countries that generate refugees, and the countries who have offered asylum to refugees. This exercise could also offers the students an occasion to practise their map reading, using co-ordinates given by the teacher. For a change of pace, this practice could be in the form of a game, Geographical Bingo. (See below, for instructions on how to construct the bingo cards and rules of the game).

Country of origin Main country of asylum
Afghanistan Iran/Pakistan/ CIS/India
Rwanda Burundi/Tanzania/Uganda/Zaire
Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia/F.R. Yugoslavia/Germany
Liberia Guinea/Côte d'Ivoire/Ghana/Nigeria
Iraq Iran/Saudi Arabia
Somalia Djibouti/Ethiopia/Kenya/Yemen
Sudan Uganda/Zaire/Kenya/Ethiopia
Eritrea Sudan
Angola Zaire/Zambia/Congo/Namibia
Sierra Leone Guinea/Liberia

Geographical Bingo