Teaching about Refugees — Curriculum Units & Lessons

Rochelle Davis and Grace Benton

Georgetown University

Contact: rad39@georgetown.edu

This page hosts sample lesson plans and resources for teachers to use in designing a unit about refugees and forced displacement. The project derives itself from field research completed in Jordan and Lebanon during May and Jun 2013. These lessons are aimed at secondary school students. We welcome comments, suggestions, and additional material.


Teaching Units:

1. Introduction to International Refugee Regime

  • This introductory lesson provides students with a definition, historical  background, and basic information about the International Refugee Regime and the global nature of displacement.This lesson hopes to encourage students to see refugees as more than just numbers in need of aid, but as the people that they are. We suggest having students watch the video  and complete accompanying worksheets and activities.

2. Urban Refugees: Jordan as a Case Study

  • This lesson plan helps define what is an urban refugee and the challenges of providing assistance to them given that they are spread out in large areas. It also helps detail some of the impact on the local communities. The unit is centered around two reports on urban refugees in Jordan and then has supplemental material around specific issues faced by urban refugees, governments, local communities, and the humanitarian aid community.

3. Syrian Refugees in Jordan

4.  Sudanese Refugees in the Middle East

5. Music

  • This lesson uses the music of Emmanual Jal, a South Sudanese musician and former child soldier, to teach another dimension of forced displacement. The value of music as a medium for raising awareness, the importance of the “human dimension” of displacement and conflict, and the provision of humanitarian aid versus long-term development initiatives, particularly education, are among the themes considered.
  • Sample Lesson – Music



6. Making Videos with Classes

  • This lesson plan contains some of the activities Grace did during her workshops with refugees in Jordan. Students will learn how to use hand-held cameras, good filmmaking techniques, strategies for conducting good interviews, and various ways to plan their films in order to tell their story. Students then do a Video Scavenger Hunt activity, in which they utilize the techniques they have learned.
  • Video: Intro to the Grace Project
  • Sample Lesson Plan – Making Videos

Imranovi Hands Rope

Resources and Other Material

Click on the link below to download an annotated list of other helpful resources for teaching about refugees. Includes primary and secondary sources, in addition to further teaching materials.