This unit was designed around 9th grade accelerated learners in a World Geography classroom at an international school. Prior to this unit, we connected national boundary changes and economic power shifts in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia to decolonization and WWII. The goal of this unit is to humanize the “refugee” and to understand the far-reaching and immediate causes and consequences of mass migrations in the modern world in geo-politically significant regions. To accomplish this, the unit prepares students to understand how the world defines human rights and the ways these “rights” are protected or, in the case of certain groups with little agency/protection, ignored. The performance task asks students to research, analyze, and teach their classmates about a refugee group, attempt to solve the refugee crisis and prevent further damage by synthesizing multiple viewpoints and strategies into a formal proposal. The students will be challenged to consider what life as a refugee is like, what are the impacts that refugees have on their old and new communities through migration, and what is being and still needs to be done to create a world where even those often ignored have ensured and protected human rights. The students will study both the causes of and solutions to current crises. Students will compare refugee crises, make note of the overwhelming commonalities among these groups, and reflect upon what is truly important to all humans - the right to move, to work, and to live without fear and harm.
Cavin, Marisa C., "Why We Had To Leave; A Study of Human Rights & Refugees (9th-12th grade)" (2016). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 334.
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