Author:
Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project, Barbara Soots, Melissa Webster, OSPI Social Studies
Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Tags:
  • Civics
  • OSPI
  • SEL
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • wa-sel
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Animating Civic Action: High School Lesson - Refugees

    Animating Civic Action: High School Lesson - Refugees

    Overview

    Often throughout American history former refugees rise to be community leaders dedicating their lives to helping others. Refugees often overcome key obstacles including language and culture to become important activists addressing social and political problems. Refugees offer key perspectives on the application of civic virtues and human rights. In this lesson students will hear from three refugee students about their experiences. Then, students will be asked to:

    • Identify and describe obstacles student refugees encounter while assimilating at school.
    • Identify reasons why refugees go on to develop a strong sense of civic duty and desire to give back to their communities. 
    • Research and identify ways they can take civic action to build a better community.

    About Animating Civic Action

    Animating Civic Action lessons are created to support civic engagement K-12. These lessons introduce real stories of individuals in our Washington community who have experienced challenges to civic participation. These lessons incorporate multimedia approaches and provide opportunities to connect civic education with social-emotional learning. These lessons are standards aligned and grade level appropriate.

       
      Victoria's Story | OSPI

       

      Dehabe's Story

       

      Gemima's Story

       

      Washinton state Education Ombuds     OSPI logo

      Lesson Overview

      Enduring Understanding

      Often throughout American history former refugees rise to be community leaders dedicating their lives to helping others. Refugees often overcome key obstacles including language and culture to become important activists addressing social and political problems. Refugees offer key perspectives on the application of civic virtues and human rights.

      Supporting Questions

      Students consider these questions - finding and using evidence to support the Enduring Understanding.

      • How can we learn about strength and perseverance from listening to refugee’s stories?
      • What can we learn from refugee experiences about commitment and helping others in applying civic virtues and human rights in our community?

      Learning Targets

      Students will be able to…

      • Identify and describe obstacles student refugees encounter while assimilating at school.
      • Identify reasons why refugees go on to develop a strong sense of civic duty and desire to give back to their communities.
      • Research and identify ways they can take civic action to build a better community.

      Task 1: Student Launch

      Hooking students into the content of the inquiry.

      Distribute the Student Handout: Launch to students.

      • Guide students in the following activities “In their Shoes - Applying for Asylum-hay”
      • There are no “correct” answers. Encourage the students to explain their thinking with each other, but this activity involves emotions, which can hold some risks as students may not want to share their answers with each other. Accept student responses however they feel like responding (in pairs or with partners).

      Task 2: Focused Inquiry

      A focused inquiry is a one-to-two-day lesson that will have students engaging in the C3 Framework’s Inquiry Arc.

      Compelling Question

      How can learning about refugee stories compel us to take civic action in our communities?

      Standards

      • SSS2.6-8.1 Create and use research questions to guide inquiry on an issue or event.
      • C4.5.4 Describe ways in which people benefit from and are challenged by working together, including through government, workplaces, voluntary organizations, and families.

      Learning Goals

      1. Students will be able to identify and describe obstacles student refugees encounter while assimilating.
      2. Students will identify reasons why refugees go on to develop a strong sense of civic duty and desire to give back to their communities.
      3. Students will be able research and identify ways they can take civic action to build a better community.

      Glossary of Terms

      • Refugee - a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
      • Immigrant - a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
      • Asylum - the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.
      • Asylum Seeker - a person who has left their home country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum in another.
      • Assimilation - the absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture
      • Perseverance - persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

      Teacher Note: Make sure to emphasize that when we are talking about assimilation we are talking about the blending, enhancing, and adding additional cultures to our existing wider culture, not the eliminating or erasing one’s culture when assimilating.

      Staging the Question

      • Review with students the glossary of terms. Make sure to emphasize that when we are talking about assimilation we are talking about the blending, enhancing and adding additional cultures to our existing wider culture, not eliminating or erasing one’s culture when assimilating.
      • Have students recall from yesterday’s activities how learning a new language is a huge obstacle for refugees. Prompt students to recall once they worked in groups together, they were more successful in completing the task thus building supportive communities.
      • Working in pairs, have students hypothesize and discuss why many immigrants go on to choose careers that focus on helping others and giving back. Have them record their answers to share.

      Supporting Question 1

      How can we learn about strength and perseverance from listening to refugee’s stories?

      Formative Performance Task 1

      Students will listen to the audio stories and annotate key moments in the story using the graphic organizer.

      Supporting Question 2

      What civic actions can young people become involved in to contribute to their community?

      Formative Performance Task 2

      Students will read the transcripts and annotate key moments in the story using the graphic organizer.

      Formative Performance Task 3

      Working with a partner, students will research local organizations that sponsor refugees to our area. Based on what they learned from listening to the audio recordings, students will identify and research gaps in resources available to our refugee students and communities in assimilating. Next, students will make a list of areas that need student involvement and ways for young people to be involved in helping refugee students assimilate at school. Lastly, they will publish and share their findings.

      Featured Sources and Resources

      • Victoria’s Story audio and transcript | Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
      • Gemima’s Story audio and transcript | Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
      • Dehabe’s Story audio and transcript
      • Analysis Organizer | Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

      Argument

      After students analyze various sources to answer the supporting question and discuss their thinking with the class, they will write a brief response to the compelling question, how can learning about refugee stories compel us to take civic action in our communities?

      Responses should include a claim, evidence, and reasoning and cite specific information from sources, including a connection to a key ideal.

      Taking Informed Action

      Students will identify and contact local refugee aid organizations to learn about ways to help support our local refugee communities. Students will create a local webpage guide, listing all the organizations and their different resources available for people in need. In addition, students will make specific “welcome to our school” guides for high school students to share. Students will share their webpage and resource guides with their local leaders, schools, and sponsor organizations.

      Resources for National and State Refugee Organizations

      Attribution and License

      Attribution

      This lesson for Animating Civic Action lesson was developed by Melissa Webster, Everett Public Schools.

      Animating Civic Action lessons support civic engagement K–12. These lessons introduce real stories of individuals in our Washington community who have experienced challenges to civic participation.

      The Animating Civic Action Project was conceived and developed by:

      • Danielle Eidenberg, Senior Education Ombuds, Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds
      • Zac Murphy, Director of Multimedia and Information Strategy, Communications and Digital Media, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
      • Jerry Price, Associate Director, Social Studies Content, OSPI

      Support for the Animating Civic Action project was provided by:

      • Content media creation, filming, and editing:
        Zac Murphy, Director of Multimedia and Information Strategy, Communications and Digital Media, OSPI
      • Media editing:
        Stephanie Rexus Video Media Strategist, Communication and Digital Media. OSPI
      • Lesson formatting and publishing:
        Barbara Soots, Open Educational Resources and Instructional Materials Program Manager, OSPI

      We express our sincere gratitude to all the story contributors to the Animating Civic Action effort. Without their support and willingness to share their experiences, this resource would not be possible.

      Animating Civics Action is a partnership between the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington State Governor's Office of the Education Ombuds.

      License

      Creative Commons Attribution logo
      Except where otherwise noted, this Animating Civic Action Lesson, copyright Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution License

      Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives
      Victoria's Story, Gemima's Story, and Dehabe's Story video, copyright Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, is availble under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License

      All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked.

      This resource may contain links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement or monitoring by OSPI. 

      OSPI logo

      Washinton state Education Ombuds