Teaching ideas

This section provides general suggestions about how the resources on this website can be used to develop lessons that raise awareness about refugee experiences and perspectives.

Important note for teachers

The resources on this website present lived refugee experiences. Teachers need to consider the appropriateness of these resources for their students, particularly their students from refugee backgrounds, and ensure all students are safe and supported when engaging in the activities. Students should be forewarned about content, given the opportunity to opt out or choose an alternative activity or resource.

Teachers should seek advice and support from the school counsellor prior to engaging in activities. Counsellors will be able to suggest strategies teachers can use in the classroom if managing distress is required, eg. simple incidental counselling skills such as validation and not asking further potentially distressing questions.

Who is a refugee

A man uses a stroller to carry his posessions across the Syrian border at night

A man uses a stroller to carry essential possessions across the border. Most of the arrivals come form the nearby southern Syrian city of Dara'a and surrounding villages. ©UNHCR/Jared J.Kohler


Who is a refugee introduces us to the nature of the refugee experiences through personal stories. The activities aim to broaden our understanding of refugee issues and to challenge any misconceptions that we may have about what makes someone a refugee.

Lesson 1: Terminology
Lesson 2: Myths & facts
Lesson 3: What is persecution?

Refugee journeys

A boy with suitcase boarding a bus

A boy prepares to leave the UNHCR voluntary repatriation centre in Dogharoun and start the journey home to Afghanistan. ©UNHCR/M.H.Salehlara


Refugee journeys introduces students to the countries and regional areas that refugees flee from, and then provides insight into the different experiences people have on their refugee journeys. Students will develop an understanding about the global reality of seeking asylum.

Lesson 1: Mapping country of origin
Lesson 2: Why do people flee?
Lesson 3: Where do people seek asylum?
Lesson 4: Refugee women & children


Teachers and refugee students paint a wall for their school
Refugee students in a Sydney high school paint a mural for their school. ©NSW Department of Education and Communities


Refugee settlement highlights both the challenges that refugees experience during settlement in Australia, and the contributions that refugees make in our community. Students are encouraged to explore the lives of refugees living in Australia today.

Lesson 1: Durable solutions
Lesson 2: Resettled refugees
Lesson 3: Settlement pathways

Refugees in Australia

Malians in Mangalze refugee camp
Mangalze hosts 3,000 Malian refugees, who will soon be moved to tents in a nearby camp that will be managed by UNHCR. ©UNHCR/Jared J.Kohler


Refugees in Australia provides an overview of how refugees are supported in Australia through government, community, education and health initiatives. The activities are designed to help students make links between Australia’s global commitments to refugees and the implementation of programs at the local level.

Lesson 1: Supporting refugees
Lesson 2: Community investigation
Lesson 3: Getting involved