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The global refugee crisis is complex. The materials in this product will help your students engage and understand through a thoughtful, objective lens as they develop critical skills aligned to the Common Core State Standards. If you're looking for a comprehensive unit and suite of materials for Refugee by Alan Gratz that INCLUDES THIS SAME RESOURCE, check out Refugee by Alan Gratz Unit: Comprehensive Suite of Materials
PLEASE NOTE: If you're looking for a refugee unit WITHOUT the Refugee novel connection, this SAME RESOURCE is available with slight modifications. Please see the product below.
This resource is also technology friendly! It can be utilized in classrooms where computers or tablets are central to instruction because the resource has been adapted for digital completion. The resource includes links for students to complete the student pages in Google Slides™. For instance, students can work with the documents in Google Drive™ or via Google Classroom. With these links, you can have students complete their work online. (NOTE: Not all assignments may be conducive to digital completion; however the pages are still provided in the digital format.) All they will have to do is create a text box! There are links for every student work page, making the format friendly not only for technology but also trees.
Nonfiction Close Reading Lessons: The close reading lessons develop students’ background knowledge about refugees. Using these informational texts, students will learn about the refugee experience, refugee crises around the world, and the United States’ and the world community’s historical response to such situations. Each close reading includes questions that will develop essential skills aligned to the reading of informational texts under the Common Core State Standards. After practicing these skills over the course of the unit, you can be confident your students will have mastered numerous skills, such as:
• Citing textual evidence to support analysis of the text.
• Summarizing the main idea of a text with supporting details.
• Determining the meaning of words or phrases as used in the text.
• Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text.
• Determine an author’s purpose in a text.
• Compare and contrast how multiple texts portray a subject.
Extension activities take your students deeper. You know your students best. Based on their interests, the extension activities provide an avenue for your students to enhance their investigation or demonstrate agency.
1. Universal Human Rights: Students will examine all the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and compare them to laws to the US Constitution.
2. Refugee Crises Across the Globe: Students will research a specific refugee crisis that contributes to the 65 million displaced people across the globe. Then, they will create a handout of facts to accompany a presentation on the crisis they researched.
3. White Helmets: Students will view the award-winning documentary by the same name and answer analysis questions. PLEASE NOTE: White Helmets contains mature content. Please view documentary prior to showing in class to be sure it is appropriate for your students. The. documentary can be accessed through Netflix.
4. 4.1 Miles Documentary: Students view and answer analysis questions on the Oscar-nominated short documentary about the dangerous voyage refugees make across the Mediterranean Sea. PLEASE NOTE: 4.1 Miles contains mature content. Please view documentary prior to showing in class to be sure it is appropriate for your students. The. documentary can be accessed through POV PBS.
5. Refugee Camps: Students watch a TED talk from UNHCR’s Chief Spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, an expert on refugees. Students answer the provided analysis questions about her speech. TED talks are available for free via YouTube.
6. Refugee Olympic Team: Students research competitive refugee athletes from any background and create a player card to share with the class.
7. Aid Organizations: Students take action to elicit donations for a refugee aid organization through a scaffolded project. Students research refugee aid organizations, create a profile for one, write a donation letter proposal that includes the acquired information, and illustrate a poster to encourage individuals to donate to their chosen group.
8. Political Cartoons: Students examine contemporary political cartoons about refugees/immigrants, and analyze them for content, meaning, and effect. Then, students create their own political cartoons through a scaffolded multi-step process to express their point-of-view about an aspect of the refugee crisis that is meaningful to them.
9. Movie Study – An American Tail: Students view the movie An American Tail and take notes on its connection to their learnings about the refugee experience. Then, students choose an essay topic to synthesize their learning across their reading and the movie itself. The movie is available through Netflix.
Answer Keys: The keys provide potential answers for every question asked in every assignment if applicable. Of course, not all analytic questions have just one answer! Part of the strength of the analysis questions is the room they leave for students to demonstrate their unique thinking and use textual evidence to support their stance. Therefore, use the answers at your discretion but know they provide a solid foundation for the type of performance that makes for quality work.
The entire resource and its inclusive set of questions allow for multiple potential uses based on your determination about when and where it would be most helpful, either in-class or for homework. Regardless, every question is aligned to a relevant Common Core State Standard.
You know your students best. Their experiences and maturity should be considered when using these materials as not all resources may be appropriate for all students. The well-being and mental safety of your students is of the utmost importance., and should be weighed when teaching this sensitive topic.
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