REFUGEE by Alan Gratz - Novel Study Unit - Print & DIGITAL

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Joy Sexton
Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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362 pages/slides
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Joy Sexton
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


REFUGEE - This Refugee Novel Unit now includes both a print and digital version! Instantly engage your students with thought-provoking, standards-based learning activities. Students will enjoy analyzing the text, discussing important ideas, and acquiring new vocabulary as they read Alan Gratz’s gripping novel!

The DIGITAL version offers colorful, beautifully designed slides that allow students to type their responses into text boxes. Test and all quizzes are accessed with links to Google Forms, and are self-grading.

To access the DIGITAL version of this resource, you will find:

--a PDF containing links to every resource listed for the unit

--directions for uploading the resources and using them with students

With both a print-and-go version AND digital, you'll be equipped for all teaching situations! Plus, you'll be able to differentiate according to your students' needs.


The Refugee teaching package contains:

1. PRE-READING—DEFINITIONS AND REAL-LIFE VIDEOS - For this Pre-Reading Activity, students examine two definitions for “refugee” and view and respond to two videos with real-life refugees telling their stories.

2. PRE-READING—HOW DOES IT FEEL? – A visual presentation of 8 slides each with a question and an image related to being in a refugee’s shoes. Teacher projects these and students discuss in groups.

3. 60-WORD VOCABULARY STUDY STUDENT HANDOUTS – Words are grouped into six sets of ten words. Students study the definitions given and then fit the correct words into provided sentences. They also choose words to illustrate and compose sentences of their own. ANSWER KEY included.

4. VOCABULARY QUIZZES – 6 15-question quizzes are grouped into six sets of ten words (matching and fill-in-the-blank in a context sentence). Words reflect the sets of words on the vocabulary handouts. ANSWER KEY included. Digital version created in Google Forms (not Microsoft compatible).

5. CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER RESPONSE PAGES – Grouped in 3-chapter segments (Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud). The Chapter Response Pages or slides present prompts regarding specific characters (traits, motivation, how they change), settings, conflicts, important ideas, meaningful quotations, figurative language, how elements interact, points of view, author’s tone, theme, making inferences, compare/contrast, vocabulary in context, and other standards-based skills. Students enjoy working in small groups or with a partner after reading each 3-chapter segment. The response pages get students thinking and discussing the events of the novel using text-based details, and this work assures the teacher that students are "getting" all the important ideas. ANSWER KEY included.

6. FREE-WRITES – 18 Journal-style writing prompts on attractive slides – one for every 3-chapter segment. A Free-Writes Log for student responses is also provided in two styles for differentiation. Great discussion starters when shared. In the DIGITAL version, students type their responses right on the slide, under the prompt.

7. CHAPTER QUIZZES – 18 quizzes, a 5-question multiple choice quiz for every 3-chapter segment (Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud) intended to check comprehension. ANSWER KEY included. Digital version created in Google Forms (not Microsoft compatible).

8. NON-FICTION CLOSE READING: REAL-LIFE REFUGEES – Students read an online article about real-life refugees related to Josef’s story. They answer close reading questions on this 2-page handout. ANSWER KEY included.

9. THEME IN REFUGEE – Five theme topics are offered, each on an attractive 2-page organizer, with prompts and guides that lead students to gather text evidence and determine a theme around the topic. ANSWER KEY included.

10. CONFLICT IN REFUGEE – For all three stories, students determine one conflict for each type: Man vs. Man, Nature, Society, and Self, and explain how each conflict is resolved.

11. END-OF-NOVEL TEST – 40 Questions - 20 matching (characters and meaningful quotations) and 20 multiple choice (standards-aligned). Covers the whole novel. ANSWER KEY Included. Digital version created in Google Forms (not Microsoft compatible).

12. ESSAY TOPICS WITH PRE-WRITING ORGANIZERS – A five-paragraph literary essay assignment that offers 3 topic choices and planning organizers to guide students in gathering relevant details. A literary essay WRITING RUBRIC is included for assessment.

13. “MISSING” POSTER ACTIVITY – Students create the poster Mahmoud would distribute to best locate his sister at the end of the novel. An EASY GRADING TOOL is included.

14. “INTERVIEWING LITO” WRITING ACTIVITY – Two versions are provided so that students may work with a partner or independently. Students assume the role of reporters and write a script-style interview with Lito when he is brought back to Cuba. An EASY GRADING TOOL is included.

15. NOVEL POEMS – A creative writing activity with two versions for differentiation. Students write free-verse poems based on the three main characters and their experiences. An EASY GRADING TOOL is included.

16. REFUGEE POST-READING LINKS – A list of links to websites that provide powerful photos and news stories related to refugee experiences portrayed in the novel.

17. TEACHING GUIDE AND STANDARDS – A sequential step-by-step guide for teaching with this resource along with a list of embedded Common Core standards is provided.

This novel unit will take you all the way through Refugee, keeping your students on track with rigorous, standards-aligned learning activities. The resource is attractively designed for student engagement. Answer keys are detailed and complete. You will have no prep. Just print and teach, or go digital!

Please open the PREVIEW.

Thanks! --Joy

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Total Pages
362 pages/slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.


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