Teaching ideas

Lesson 1: Terminology

Learning outcome

Participants will be able to identify the similarities and differences between asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons.

Lesson resources

Step 1. Brainstorming

Conduct a brainstorming activity with students to find out what they already know about people who have become refugees.

An example of a brainstorming activity is the KWL (Know, Want to know, Learned) as shown below. Students complete the first column at the beginning of the lesson, writing down all of the information they already know about the question: Who is a refugee?

Discuss answers in groups or as a class. Ask students to think about what information gaps there are. What type of questions could they ask when researching the topic? Students complete the second column, writing down the questions that they have come up with.

What I already know What I want to know What I learned


Step 2. Definitions

Refer students to Roads to Refuge » Who is a refugee » Definitions.
Ask students to discuss (as a class) the similarities and differences between the following terms:

  • Refugee
  • Asylum seeker
  • Migrant
  • Stateless person
  • Internally displaced person
Step 3. Researching the refugee experience

The website Roads to Refuge incorporates the experiences of many different people from refugee backgrounds.
For the following research questions, students or teachers could select individual case studies for students from the list below.

  • Anna - Democratic Republic Congo (UNHCR)
  • Ashane - Sri Lanka (Amnesty International Australia)
  • Hussain - Afghanistan (Amnesty International Australia)
  • Fiona - Sudan (Beverley Hills High School IEC)
  • The resource Roads to Refuge interviewees provides an overview of the stories from the Roads to Refuge DVD series.

Ask students the following questions:

  • Where is the person from?
  • How old was the person when they left their home?
  • Did they leave alone? Who did they travel with?
  • Did anyone help them leave?
  • What was the reason they had to leave?
Step 4. Writing activity

Ask students to choose one person’s story and write a letter to their friends/ family/ classmates introducing that person.

Step 5. Conclusion

Have students return to the KWL activity and complete section ‘what I learned’. Discuss and compare answers with students.

Introduction (2:45) Roads to Refuge explores how refugees and their families have been forced to leave their home countries. Transcript: Introduction