What is a Refugee?
An introduction to what the word refugee means and context building to support reading.
Lesson length: 1 session
Lesson from A Story Like the Wind series
- Background knowledge: Refugee experience
- Background Knowledge
Comprehension is built upon existing knowledge. A lack of background knowledge and experience can inhibit understanding. If a subject is unfamiliar, building background knowledge before reading will increase understanding and help to minimise miscomprehension.
Children’s knowledge of refugee experience will likely be varied depending on background and engagement with current affairs. There may well be confusion around terminology. This introductory lesson allows children to share their existing knowledge so that an assessment can be made of their level of understanding. It also covers some necessary factual information and busts some popular misconceptions.
- Download the Refugees Fact and Fiction slideshow.
- Download the Refugee Fact Sheet
Start with the question:
- What is a refugee? Invite the children to pool their knowledge.
Refugees: True or False?
Hand out the set of Refugee Statement cards.
Working with a partner, or in a small group, ask the children to read each statement and decide whether it is true, false. If they are unsure, they can use an undecided column.
Briefly discuss and answer any questions the children have. You may want to share the short presentation – Refugees Fact and Fiction slideshow.
Prompts for final reflection:
- Have you learnt anything new about refugees today?
- Do you have any questions? Write the questions and keep them for reference. Revisit them while reading the book.
Distribute copies of A Story Like the Wind and explain that this is a story about a small group of people making a dangerous journey in the hope of finding a place of safety. We don’t know where they come from, and we don’t know where they are going, but their story is like the story of many refugees who have made similar journeys.
refugee, displacement, migration
The Refugee Council
Source of information about all issues relating to refugee status and experience.
Refugees Fact and Fiction slideshow
Use these statements for discussion.
Refugee Fact sheet
These facts accompany the statements and slide show
Source of information The Refugee Council