Refugees at Center Stage
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the community, state or nation, such as petitioning authority, advocating, voting, group problem solving, mock trials or classroom governance and elections.

Students identify the message communicated in the visual image of a poster. Then student groups create a skit with a small group that communicates the same message in a different format. The groups write, practice and perform their skits. Then the class comments on the skits of their peers by identifying the central message of each. Groups can determine if their skit communicated their message clearly.

PrintTwo or Three 45-Minute Sessions

The learner will:

  • create a dramatic presentation to communicate a message about refugees.
  • interpret the message of the skits performed.
  • evaluate your group's skit based on the interpretations of classmates.
  • define advocacy and make a plan to use their skits to persuade others to help refugees.
  • UNHCR’s LEGO posters How Does It Feel? What’s the Difference? What’s Wrong Here? (see Bibliographical References)
  • student copies of Refugees at Center Stage (Handout One)
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to recall some of their favorite commercials from television. As they recall favorites, ask them to summarize the message of each commercial. Discuss how commercials use visual images and words to communicate a message or persuade an audience.

  2. Tell students that in this lesson, they will be creating and performing skits with a message that comes from a poster.

  3. Move students into small groups and give each group one of the LEGO posters that are available on the website. (See Bibliographical References.)

  4. Also give each student a copy of Handout Two: Refugees at Center Stage.

  5. Depending upon the group of students with whom you are working, you may want to assign roles (such as facilitator, note-taker, director, narrator, etc.) or have them select their own roles. Go over your classroom rules/guidelines for group work, if necessary.

  6. Students should work cooperatively to create a skit based around the ideas conveyed (both visually and textually) on their assigned poster.

  7. When the groups have written and practiced their skits, have each group share their poster with the class, then act out their skit. (This may take a few class periods.)

  8. For peer evaluation, be sure each student fills in the bottom of the handout as the groups present their skits. Groups can get immediate feedback on how effective their skits were by briefly discussing what the audience perceived as the message in the skit.

  9. Ask students how they coulduse their skits to teach others about refugees. Define the word advocacy, and tell the students that their skits could help them persuade others to take action to help refugees. Discuss how they feel about being advocates for the issue. Their advocacy would bean act of service to help refugees.


Students’ skills and knowledge should be evaluated based on the level of cooperation in group and adherence to group rules and roles. They will be assessed on their interpretation of the message of the poster, the creativity and thoughtfulness of the skit, their participation in the skit, and the completion of peer evaluation.


After the drama presentations, reflect on the messages communicated by the posters and the skits. Decide which format (skit or poster) is more effective in provoking thought and persuading someone to act. Reflect on whether the audience correctly identified the message of the skit.