HM - Nov. 2016 - Light

Classroom Applications

What Would You Bring?

by Kori Light

Grade Level

Social Studies

Students will independently brainstorm preconceptions about refugees, explore refugee narratives in a whole group and small groups, and compare and contrast the Syrian refugee crisis with other historical examples of migration and displacement.

Essential Questions
How are refugee experiences unique and how are they universal?

NCHE Habits of Mind 
1.) Significance of the Past: Understand the significance of the past to their own lives, both private and public, and to their society
4.) Shared Humanity: Acquire at one and the same time a comprehension of diverse cultures and of shared humanity
13.) Evaluating Evidence: Read widely and critically in order to recognize the difference between fact and conjecture, and between evidence and assertion, thereby to frame useful questions

Students will demonstrate an understanding of and empathy towards Syrian refugees by analyzing at least 2 refugee narratives and actively participating (by speaking at least once and listening respectfully) in group discussions.

1.)    Students will show compassion and respect towards refugees in their rhetoric
2.)    Students will understand the plight of Syrian refugees in the context of past and elsewhere migration and displacement
3.)    Students will draw both connections and distinctions between Syrian refugees with different stories
4.)    Students will acknowledge, challenge, and revise their own preconceptions about refugees

1.)    Present students with the following scenario: “Your parents call the office and say they are coming to check you out of school early. You will be moving to a new country immediately and will be unable to return to say goodbye to your neighbors, collect your belongings, or see your home again. They are about to leave, but they have just enough time to grab one of your possessions that you can take with you. What one thing would you tell them to get? Why is that object most important to you?” 
2.)    Give students two minutes to write a few sentences in response, then collect all written responses and give students 30 seconds to share their choice and their reasoning with the person sitting next to them. If time allows, have student volunteers share their reasoning with the whole class.


Formative Assessment: 
1.)    Note sheets for Small Group refugee narratives (grade for completion)

1.)    Reconvene in a whole group and ask all students to silently think about the following questions: “How are refugee experiences unique? How are they universal?” (Review/clarify the terms “unique” and “universal,” if necessary.)
2.)    After one minute of silence, have students share their thoughts with the person sitting next to them, then have each pair share their combined thoughts with the class.
3.)    Create a whole-class graphic organizer drawing on unique aspects of each refugee’s narrative as well as universal aspects of all refugees’ narratives.

Key Concepts / Vocabulary
From Barbara Petzen’s “Migration Terminology” Handout:
1.)    Migrant: any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from their home, regardless of (1) the person’s legal status; (2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; (3) what the causes for the movement are; or (4) what the length of the stay is.
2.)    Refugee: Someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."
3.)    Asylum seekers: People who have sought international protection and whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined.
4.)    Displacement: People being forced to leave their homes, jobs, and communities, especially as a result or in anticipation of armed conflict, violence, violations of human rights, or natural or man-made disasters.

1.)    “Most Shocking Second a Day Video” from Save the Children
2.)    Computer (1)
3.)    Projector (1)
4.)    Loose-leaf for vocabulary notes (1 sheet per student)
5.)    Barbara Petzen’s “Handout C: Refugee Voices” note sheet (2 copies per student):
6.)    Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams, ill. by Douglas Chayka (1 book OR eBook for every other student)
7.)    How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz (1 book OR eBook for every other student)
8.)    "A Perilous Journey" from The Guardian
( )
9.)    Whiteboard (1) + markers (1-3)

Instructional Procedure
1.)    Individual: Pre-Assessment
2.)    Whole group: Watch “Most Shocking Second a Day Video” together
3.)    Whole group: Discuss causes for people becoming refugees
a.    What would make you or your parents leave your home?
b.    What are some other historical examples of people evacuating from their home state or country because it was unsafe there? (Ellis Island, Hurricane Katrina—this is subject to students’ prior knowledge)
4.)    Whole group: Introduce key terms and discuss how they apply to the video. Definitions for each term may come organically from student responses, but should ultimately be scaffolded into something along the lines of the definitions listed in the “Key Concepts/Vocabulary” section.
a.    In the context of Ellis Island, has anyone heard the term “immigration”? What does that mean? What do you think a “migrant” would be? Write our agreed-upon definition and a context-rich sentence on a sheet of loose-leaf.
b.    Have you heard the term “refugee” before? What about the expression “taking refuge”? What does that mean? Write our agreed-upon definition and a context-rich sentence on your loose-leaf.
c.    In what contexts have you heard the word “asylum” used before? How do you think it might be used in the traumatic context of people seeking refuge? Write our agreed-upon definition and a context-rich sentence on your loose-leaf.
d.    Using root words, what would you guess is the meaning of the word “displacement”? Write our agreed-upon definition and a context-rich sentence on your loose-leaf.
e.    In our definitions for the words “migrant” and “refugee,” we see that migrants are people who move from one place to another for any reason, while a refugee is a type of migrant who moves because their home country has become dangerous for them. How is forced migration different from voluntary migration? Write down a list of two or three quick thoughts on your loose-leaf. 
f.    Think-pair-share: How might these terms and ideas apply to the video we just watched? How might they be used in other historical contexts?
5.)    Whole group: Explain instructions for small group activity
a.    Pass out note sheets for refugee narratives (2 per student)
b.    Pass out paper copies of A Perilous Journey (1 per student) OR pull up A Perilous Journey on the computer and project it towards the front of the classroom so students can read it from their seats.
c.    Read through and explain each question on the note sheet.
d.    Fill out the first note sheet as a whole group while reading aloud together from A Perilous Journey.
6.)    Split into small groups (I have 18 students, so we will do 6 groups of 3)
a.    Pass out 9 copies of Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams (or 9 iPads with the iBook loaded on to them) to 3 of the groups.
b.    Pass out 9 copies of How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz (or 9 iPads with the iBook loaded on to them) to 3 of the groups.
7.)    Small group: Each group will read their book together, stopping incrementally to answer questions about their narrative on their note sheet.
8.)    Switch small groups: Have students get into new pairs so that one partner will have notes on Four Feet, Two Sandals and the other will have notes on How I Learned Geography.
a.    Students will share their notes with each other.
b.    Students will collaborate to draw a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the two narratives.
9.)    Whole Group: Post-Assessment 

1.)    Students may complete an empathy-based writing prompt reflecting on how they would feel if they had to seek refuge in a new state or country, without any of their possessions and perhaps without their family
2.)    Students may write a pretend journal entry from the perspective of a refugee during a historical period of their choice
3.)    A group of ambitious students, or a whole class, may decide to write original narratives and create and perform a play or skit portraying the Syrian refugee crisis, perhaps in addition to other historical examples of displacement.

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