Refugees: Finding a Place

Unit of 6 Lessons
Grade Levels: 
3
4
5
Subjects: 
Language Arts
Social Studies
Philanthropy
Media / Technology
Issue Area: 
Fairness
Focus Question 

What factors contribute to people fleeing their home and becoming refugees? How does the plight of refugees affect all global citizens? What is our responsibility to address the issue of refugees? 

 

Photo Credit:  Darfur refugees Sam Ouandja 36 by hdptcar is licensed under CC by 2.0

Unit Overview 

Students make connections between themselves and refugees. They learn what it means to be a refugee and empathize with refugees who are in various unfortunate situations. Students develop a personal understanding of what they can do to help.

Service Experience 
Students research global and community organizations that help refugees establish new social relationships. They may use the research to prepare a class informational brochure to promote support of the organizations. The learners will come to consensus on a plan to provide service to benefit refugees or children in need. They will create and implement a service plan either as a class or as individuals.
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 1 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

Students will view a video about a girl named Carly who is a refugee forced to leave her home. Students will discuss the problems Carly faces in her journey to find a safe place to live. During this activity students will draw inferences as to why Carly had to flee from her home. The students will learn the definition of a refugee and the reasons refugees must leave their homes. They will also view a segment of a video which introduces them to a refugee’s story of why he or she left his or her country.

Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 2 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

Students will discuss in what ways the groups Carly met showed a lack of acceptance. They will recall how Carly was treated by the groups she met while searching for safety. The students will observe the LEGO: Spot The Refugee poster and discuss what they see. They will describe the group and the individual using adjectives and draw inferences about what the group and what the individual might be feeling and thinking. Students will discuss the feeling of isolation and loneliness that refugees often feel when fleeing their homes to a new environment.

Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 3 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

During this lesson students will remember a time when they felt left out of a group. They will explore how this made them feel, what they did to try to fit into the group and what the group could have done to include them. The students will learn about social groups. They will identify the social groups to which they belong. Students will also discuss how difficult it would be to leave their social groups and how difficult it would be to re-establish themselves in new social groups. The students will connect this with the experiences refugees have when fleeing their country and becoming isolated from social groups and having to rebuild them in their new homes. Students will also be introduced to an organization that helps refugees to become a part of new social groups in their new environments.

Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 4 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

The students will learn to distinguish the difference between wants and needs. They will distinguish between wants and needs by completing an activity in which they must categorize items into wants or needs.  Students will learn that many times refugees are without resources to meet basic needs.

Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 5 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

During this lesson students use what they have learned about needs and wants to determine what items they would take with them if they were forced to flee their homes. Students make decisions as to what things they must leave behind. They learn that many times refugees must leave their homes with a few items or nothing at all.

Unit: 
Refugees: Finding a Place
Lesson 6 of 6
Grades: 
3
4
5

During this activity students will use the information they have learned about refugees to complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting themselves to refugees like Carly. They will come to consensus on a service project to benefit refugees or others in need and plan and implement a student-driven service project.