World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day was established in 2000 by the UN General Assembly and is coming up on June 20. It’s a good time to talk to your students about the definition of a refugee and the challenges people throughout time and all around the world have faced when they are forced to leave their homeland. We’ve curated images that demonstrate that refugees have existed across time and place (many of our images are accompanied by text that explains the historical context.) We’ve also included resources about programs that seek to address some of the challenges refugees face.


Featured Resources

Content Collection: Global Refugee Crisis
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Assorted Resources

Each year, millions of people flee their homes due to war, violence, natural catastrophe, or fear of persecution. Gain insight into current conflicts around the world, as well as the international organizations and humanitarian efforts that work to provide aid and assist in the movement of refugees to hosting countries.
 
Refugee
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Encyclopedia Article

A refugee is a person who has fled or been expelled from his or her country of origin because of natural catastrophe; war or military occupation; or fear of religious, racial, or political persecution.


Images

African refugees during the Boer War
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 9-12, Image

African refugees and wagon during the Boer War, 1899-1902. Although not called upon to fight in large numbers, many Africans did experience the disruption and dislocation which accompanied the fighting…
 
French refugees, spring 1918 German offensive
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 9-12, Image

French refugees flee from Merville, in the Ypres salient area, during the spring 1918 German offensive.
 
One of 20,000 children who fled Vienna, 1938
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Image

This young Jewish woman was one of 20,000 children who fled from Vienna in December 1938. She is pictured on her arrival in England, and may have been fleeing from the November 1938 pogrom against the Jews in Germany….
 
Vietnamese refugees in Thailand, July 1979
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Image

Vietnamese refugees living at the Songkhla camp in Thailand, July 1979. Beginning in 1975, as a result of the end of the U.S.-Vietnam war, camps had to be set up all over Thailand to house several hundred thousand Indo-Chinese refugees.


Programs

Durable Refugee Shelters
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

Ikea has teamed up with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to create more durable shelters for refugees.
 
Reuters News: Young Refugees in U.S. Bond over Soccer
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Math Techbook, Social Studies Techbook
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

A nonprofit organization uses soccer to help young refugees integrate into U.S. society.
 
Reuters News: Refugees Teach Languages to British University Students
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Math Techbook, Social Studies Techbook
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

A new British company is hiring refugees to teach languages, including Swahili, Arabic, and Farsi, to university students, businesspeople, and private clients.


SOS Strategy

Spotlight on Strategies: Get Your Thinking Hat On
(Canadian Version)
All Services
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Instructional Strategy

This teaching strategy is based on the Six Thinking Hats technique. It is used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives. Consider having your students watch the videos about programs that help refugees overcome specific challenges and, then, approach a discussion with these thinking hat perspectives: What are the programs all about? How might participants feel? What are the benefits of the programs? How might the programs be expanded or improved?

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