Teaching about Refugees — Curriculum Units & Lessons
TEACHING ABOUT FORCED DISPLACEMENT PROJECT
Updated, Dec 1, 2013 [for more material on Syria/Syrians see the “Publications on Refugees” Page and “Must reads on Syria and Syrian Refugees” Page]
Rochelle Davis and Grace Benton
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.
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.
- Video: Intro to the International Refugee Regime
- Sample Lesson Plan – International Refugee Regime
- Updated Material:
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.
- Video: Urban Refugees
- Sample Lesson Plan – Urban Refugees
- Updated Material: The Atlantic, “How Do You Rank Refugees?” Nov 22, 2013. On Sudanese in Jordan.
3. Syrian Refugees in Jordan
- This lesson plan encourages students to not only understand the situation of being a refugee in Jordan but also the challenges of responding to the huge influx of refugees.
- Sample Lesson Plan – Syrian Refugees in Jordan
- Updated Material: BBC article on Syrian children refugees, November 29, 2013.
- Updated Material: UNHCR collection on The Future of Syria: Refugee Children in Crisis.
4. Sudanese Refugees in the Middle East
- This lesson challenges students to take a closer look at Sudanese refugees. It encourages them to reflect on their own exposure to
- the issues Sudan faces, namely the Darfur refugee crisis. This lesson deals with the specific struggles Sudanese refugees face in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
- Video: Sudanese Refugees in Amman, Jordan
- Sample Lesson – Sudanese in the Middle East
- Updated material: The Atlantic, “How Do You Rank Refuges?” Nov 22, 2013. On Sudanese in Jordan.
- 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
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.