We know that learners make effective teachers. However, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised when my 9th grade ELLs created a compelling introductory lesson to the plight of the refugees. This was part of our broader unit based on the purpose question of ‘Why do some people survive?’
I gave the students some relevant links as well as guidelines for designing an effective lesson such as a hook and engaging activities. They divided themselves into groups with each one taking responsibility for one part of the lesson.
They introduced the topic with a TED ED video, and continued with a slide show.
They concluded the lesson with a handout of a Venn Diagram to check whether we understood the differences and similarities between refugees and migrants.
The students exceeded my expectations, and I told them so.
I will close our long unit by reading aloud the powerful The Journey, by Francesca Sanna,
and the stunning, award winning book hiding behind it, Shackleton’s Journey. Actually, it has occurred to me as I finish this post that this book will make a powerful paired text to London’s The Call of the Wild which we have read as a class novel: dog/man against nature.