Refugees and Human Rights
Through video, posters, internet, and poetry and other text, students gain understanding about the plight of refugees worldwide and the work of UNHCR. They also develop deeper insight into the refugee experience through critical and creative thinking and participate in activities that encourage them to empathize with those who face the distinct struggles of a refugee and other forcibly displaced persons. They read and discuss the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This lesson provides students with insight into the reasons why people flee their homes and what nonprofits and individuals do to support these vulnerable people and help them rebuild their lives. Through video and research, students gain the opportunity to imagine the life of a refugee, his/her struggles, emotions, and triumphs, and to understand the role UNHCR plays in protecting and assisting refugees worldwide.
This lesson focuses on the language of human rights. Learners examine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and analyze the rights from a personal perspective. They discuss how well they perceive that the rights are enforced.
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.
Students listen to the voices of refugees in the words of a poem by W. H. Auden. They explore the poetic imagery and then write their own poem using voice, imagery, and rhyme. They may use what they have learned and created in this unit to organize a service project in which they advocate for refugees by educating people about their experience.