Teaching ideas


Lesson 2: Why do people flee?

Learning outcome

Participants will be able to identify the reasons for population movement by asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons, and develop empathy.

Lesson resources

Step 1. Refugee experiences

Ask students to refer to the Our Experiences section of the Refugee Journeys pages and note the reasons that each person gives for leaving home.

Step 2. Empathise and discuss

Ask students to discuss each person’s journey. Ask the students to consider how they might feel if they had to leave their homes quickly, or how they think each of these people felt. Document student responses under the topic ‘feelings’.

Step 3. DVD

Show students the DVD Roads to Refuge » Refugee journeys and distribute the resource Roads to Refuge interviewees. Ask students to discuss the reasons that each person gives for fleeing from their home/ home country.

Step 4. Comparison

Distribute the resource Comparison grid [DOC]. Ask students to complete the grid using the information they have.

Compare the information in the resource Roads to Refuge interviewees and discuss:

  • Are there some common journeys/ patterns of movement for people from the same countries or regional areas?
  • Where did each person seek refuge (either in a refugee camp or an urban area if known)
  • How much choice did each individual have in deciding the stages of their journey?

Step 5. Research

  • What countries are currently in a state of conflict? (Map the list of countries on a wall if available)
  • Choose one country in conflict and investigate the conflict further. Seek background information (Useful websites) on why the conflict is occurring and share it with the class. Questions to consider might include:
    • Who is the conflict between? Is it a civil war (ie within a country) or is the conflict against a particular ethnic or religious group?
    • Why is the conflict occurring? Is it a dispute over resources? Over land? Religion?
    • How long has the conflict been happening for?
    • What are the casualties/ deaths?
    • What is the impact of the conflict (ie. Is there any impact on schools/ classrooms/ hospitals?)
  • What is the source of information being used? Do you think this is a reliable source? Why?