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Teaching materials ages 12-15

Activities in this age range focus on the student’s ability to contextualise how the concept and reality of refugees fit into their lives. We focus on the students’ capability to empathise and foster understanding of the basic concepts on refugees, asylum and migration.

At the same time, teaching materials encourage the beginning of critical thinking.

Video and audio materials for this age group tell stories of refugee children of the same age as the pupils by discussing familiar and relevant topics such as why and how people leave their homes, how they have come to a new country and future dreams.

Students in this age range are encouraged to move their understanding from the classroom into the practical realm of their lives.

📑 How to use these materials

Click on the links below to download the teaching materials. You can use the video exercises, guides and lesson plans as you see fit. 

Download the Teaching About Refugees Lesson Plan template to prepare or use your lesson planning tools.

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Basic concepts

In this age group, we recommend that you start by teaching your students basic concepts of the topic of refugees, asylum and migration, since this will provide the basis for further learning on the subject.  

STEP 1 - Watch the animations

We recommend that you and your students first watch the explainer videos on refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers (in that order). 

STEP 2 - Put the animations and teaching sheets together

Use the corresponding teaching sheets to put together a lesson plan. For each basic concept, focus on where people are (in their own country or not), why they are where they are (reasons for being displaced or migrating) and what their rights are. Each video activity takes around 15 minutes. You can combine the videos as you see fit with other teaching materials.

Illustration of refugees running on a road in a city.
Refugees are people fleeing conflict or persecution.
Illustration of a man walking through a market.
Migrants are people moving to another country for other reasons than conflict and persecution.
Illustration of a man and a young boy in a wheelchair.
Internally displaced persons
Internally displaced persons are seeking safety in other parts of their country.
Illustration of persons sitting together at a table.
Asylum-seekers are people seeking international protection from conflict and persecution.


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School activities

To bring the complex subject of refugees, asylum and migration closer to the daily life of 12-to-15-year-olds, you can choose a couple of activities from the school activity guide below. The activities vary in length and can be integrated into various teaching settings and locations in and around your school.


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Video exercise

Watch this video with your students and use the video exercise lesson plan to do a couple of activities and ask a few questions. You can vary the length of the activity as you like. Activities take 15-30 minutes.

Hassan and Youssof are fourteen and fifteen years old. The brothers fled Syria with their father, Suheil, a karate teacher, with their mother and with their sister and three brothers. They first went to Jordan but were then resettled in Luxembourg. They are now enjoying school while their father teaches karate. The two brothers have also taken up karate and tell about life in their new country.


'Path Out' video game

If you have computers with an internet connection available for each individual student, give them some time to play the video game 'Path Out'.

'Path Out' takes players through the experience of young Syrian refugee Abdullah Karam, a computer game designer who fled his country and settled in Austria, where he is now working as a programmer and designer.

The game takes about half an hour and can be played in a simple web browser (cf. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox).

If you want to work the game into a longer lesson of 50 minutes - one hour, do some class activities suggested in the learning activities.

Learning activities


Follow in Abdullah's footsteps and try and get him out of the country!

Play the game


The Secret Power

The Secret Power

The Secret Power is a graphic novel telling the story of three young refugees who each have a special superpower. They had to use this superpower to get to safety and are now living in Europe. But even in their new homes, superpowers are sometimes needed to overcome problems. 

Use The Secret Power as you see fit in your lesson planning. The album offers a playful way to discuss the many challenges refugees are facing and ends with a hopeful message. It can be used for reading in the classroom or elsewhere, and can easily be used as a preparation for a class debate or other activities. 


Download a copy of The Secret Power here