JUNIOR CYCLE LESSON PLAN 1 THE REFUGEE CRISIS

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1 JUNIOR CYCLE LESSON PLAN 1 REFUGEE CRISIS Objectives To develop an understanding of the current refugee crisis and why people are leaving their countries (in particular Syria) To develop an understanding of the lives of Syrian people since the conflict began (both those inside Syria and those who have fled the country) To explore the work GOAL is doing to help the people of Syria Resources KWL chart, Write the Future Junior Cycle PowerPoint presentation, sheets of flip chart or poster paper, markers Note to Teachers: If there is an asylum seeker or refugee in the class it would be advisable to speak to the student and perhaps his/her parents in advance of engaging with this unit of work as it may be a sensitive issue. It is also advisable to watch the content of the videos in the Write the Future Junior Cycle PowerPoint presentation before showing them to your class to ensure the content is suitable for your group of students. Introduction KWL chart: use a KWL chart to brainstorm and identify what the students already know about migrants, refugees, Syria, the current crisis and the work of GOAL. Based on this, on the board, create a mind map of what the class already know about the present refugee crisis focusing particularly on Syria and those fleeing the country. You may wish to use some of the following prompt questions: Where have the people come from? Why do you think they left their own country? Where are they going? How are they travelling? Who is helping? Whole Class Activity Explain to the class that they are going to focus on the Syrian conflict and Syrian refugees. Put the following points on the board (or hand out to the class) and talk through with the class: Syria is in the Middle East and has a population of almost 23 million

2 The violence in Syria began in March 2011, and since then, it is estimated that more than 250,000 people have died in the conflict Many ordinary Syrian people have been caught up in the violence during the war and have been forced to leave their homes to escape to safety. Some have fled to other parts of Syria while others have travelled to neighbouring countries or as far as Europe. The UN s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says more than four million people have fled Syria to neighbouring countries (Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon), and over half of those are children A further 8 million people, 50% of them children, have had to leave their homes within Syria GOAL has been a leading humanitarian actor in Syria since 2012, with current projects helping over one million people There are approximately two million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. It is estimated that 217,000 live in government-run camps Approximately 2 million Syrians are currently living in Turkey Now, some of the refugees are making the dangerous journey to Europe as there, they can apply for asylum, be granted refugee status, and be able to work and send their children to school Some countries in Europe have said they will accept refugees, however, there is much debate and lack of policy around this - Ireland has pledged to take 4000 refugees Look at the images and videos in the PowerPoint presentation with the class. You may want to ask the students some of the following questions or create some of your own: Describe what is happening in the photograph Outline/summarise what you saw in the video Explain how GOAL is helping on the ground in Syria Do you have anything in common with the people in the videos/photographs? What evidence of the conflict can you see in the video/photograph? If a refugee student came to your school, how would you treat them? What kind of questions (if any) would you want to ask them? If you meet a refugee who doesn t speak your language, how will you communicate with them? Group Activity Graffiti Sheets 1. Prepare a number of graffiti sheets each with a statement or question on the top of them (see examples below). 2. Display the sheets around the room so they can be written on. 3. Ask the class to move around the room and write or draw their responses to the statements and questions on the sheets of paper. Explain they can write whatever they like and that there is no right or wrong answer/statement. 4. Examine the graffiti sheets and discuss the contributions from the class. 5. Keep these as a basis for ideas in Lesson 2.

3 Example statements and questions: Something I found interesting Did anything surprise you? How do you feel after watching the videos? What would you miss the most if you had to leave the place where you live because of war? Why do you think the Syrians are willing to risk their lives to leave their country? I now think How is GOAL helping Syrians? We can help by Extension Activity Ask the class to write their own definitions of persecution, refugee, migrant and asylum seeker. Persecution: Subjecting someone to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs Refugee: A person who is outside their home country because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; because they are a member of a persecuted social category of persons; or because they are fleeing a war Migrant: A person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions Asylum Seeker: An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking to be recognised as a refugee. If they are granted this recognition they are declared a refugee. Plenary KWL chart: return to the KWL chart from the beginning of the lesson. What have the students learned about Syria and the work of GOAL? Useful Websites

4 LESSON 1 - REFUGEE CRISIS DATE: What I Know What I Want to Know What I Learned

5 JUNIOR CYCLE LESSON PLAN 2 WHAT CAN WE DO? Objectives To understand some of the work GOAL does in Syria and with Syrian refugees in Turkey To write a letter with a particular purpose and to expand and clarify his/her thoughts on a particular idea or topic To argue the case in writing for a particular point of view Resources Write the Future Junior Cycle PowerPoint Presentation, Diamond 9 template blown up to A3 size for each group, markers Introduction Recap on Lesson 1. Look back over some of the comments from the Graffiti Sheets and ask the students have any of their ideas or opinions changed. Look at the work GOAL do in particular in Syria. Explain to the class the following: GOAL s programme in Syria is the largest in their history. The current focus is on delivering food and non-food items such as blankets, supporting bakeries to increase the availability of affordable bread, repairing houses, repairing water networks to provide safe water, and supporting livelihoods by helping people develop the skills to provide for themselves and their families. GOAL delivers these programmes through distributions of items and through cash/voucher mechanisms to support local markets. Watch the video from the Write the Future Junior Cycle Presentation (slide 3) with the class again to revisit the work GOAL are doing in Syria. Whole Class Activity Explain to the class that they will be writing letters to voice their opinion on the Syrian crisis and what can be done to help those who have been displaced because of the conflict, or those who are still living in Syria as the conflict gets worse. The letters will be an open letter calling for ways we, as a society, can make a positive change in relation to the issue. On the board, brainstorm what the students might include in their letters. They should think about some of the following: ways in which they can use their voice to make a difference realistic solutions why they want to help

6 why we as a nation should help how their ideas of how to help will impact the people of Syria how we can support the work of GOAL in Syria empathy human rights solidarity Group Activity Diamond 9 1. Divide the class into groups of four or five. 2. Give each Group a diamond 9 template. 3. Using some of the ideas on the board from the brainstorm, the group should put these in order of importance for inclusion in the letter, i.e. the piece of information they think must be included in the letter should be in the top diamond and the next layer should have the next pieces of information they feel should be included. 4. Get feedback from the groups as to what they put at the top of their diamond. Individual Activity Using the information from the whole class activities and having already started the structure of the letter in the group activity, the students should write their own open letter. Letters should: Be written in persuasive language Be no longer than 500 words in length Be written as a formal letter, using an appropriate layout (using an address, formal sign off, addressing the letter appropriately, etc.) Show knowledge of what the student has learned about the current refugee crisis Give the student s opinion on the current crisis Make reference to the work GOAL currently does (if appropriate in the context of the letter) Clearly indicate a positive (and realistic) suggestion for making a difference Students can also: make reference the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) use facts or statistics they have found themselves (making reference to the source)

7 Extension Activity Write five questions they would ask each of the following individuals given the opportunity: a teenager living in a refugee camp in Turkey a mother who is trying to get her family to Europe from Syria a member of the rebel forces who is fighting against the government an elderly man who cannot leave Syria a GOAL aid worker working in Syria Plenary Ask some of the students to read their letter to the class. Useful Websites

8 DIAMOND 9 Think about what you need to include in your letter. Write the most important information you need to include in your letter at the top of the diamond and work down.

9 CURRICULUM LINKS - SECONDARY English Junior Cycle Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader, writer Demonstrate their understanding that there is a clear purpose for all writing activities and be able to plan, draft, re-draft, and edit their own writing as appropriate Write for a variety of purposes, for example to analyse, evaluate, imagine, explore, engage, amuse, narrate, inform, explain, argue, persuade, criticise, comment on what they have heard, viewed and read Write competently in a range of text forms, for example letter, report, multi-modal text, review, blog, using appropriate vocabulary, tone and a variety of styles to achieve a chosen purpose for different audiences Exploring and using language Use editing skills continuously during the writing process to enhance meaning and impact Senior Cycle The Language of Information Students should be able to compose accurately in a range of information genres - Letters of all kinds The language of Argument Students should be able to - Put forward a theory or hypothesis - Justify a decision - Attempt an overview The language of Persuasion Students should encounter a range of texts which have a persuasive function, eg. political speeches, advertising in all media, satiric texts, some forms of journalism. CSPE Junior Cycle Through active exploration and study of citizenship at all levels (personal, local, national, global) in the context of contemporary social and political issues, this course aims to make pupils aware of the civic, social and political dimensions of their lives and the importance of active, participative citizens to the life of the state and all people encourage pupils to apply positive attitudes, imagination and empathy in learning about, and encountering, other people and cultures enable pupils to develop their critical and moral faculties in agreement with a system of values based in human rights and social responsibilities develop knowledge and understanding of processes taking place at all levels of society which lead to social, political and economic decision-making

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