Nationalism-infused resistance to providing asylum for refugees fleeing conflict has fueled calls to close borders in places across our global community. Yet the personal stories of those who are leaving their countries to seek safety elsewhere often get lost in statistics and debates over policies.
This lesson puts a human face on the statistics with clips from Midnight Traveler, a documentary shot entirely using mobile phones by an Afghan family seeking asylum in the European Union. Students will be asked to examine the debates surrounding the rights of refugee children. The lesson then allows for a flexible compare/contrast essay, so it can be linked to existing curricular needs, including current events, global studies and history.
RESOURCES FOR PREPARING THIS LESSON
Shannon Dooling, “What Is Asylum? Who Is Eligible? Why Do Recent Changes Matter?” WBUR, December 3, 2018.
Michael D. Shear, Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “What Will Trump’s Tough New Asylum Policy Mean for Migrants on the Border?” The New York Times, April 17, 2019.
Maya Rhodan, “5 Things to Know About the Asylum Process and How It Works,” Time, November 14, 2018.
In this lesson, students will:
- See an example of what it’s like to be a modern refugee seeking asylum in the European Union
- Understand the vocabulary terms “refugee” and “asylum”
- Write a bill of rights for refugee children
- Compare their bill of rights to existing refugee policies
- Write a compare/contrast essay
- Current Events
- Global Studies
- Human Rights
- English/Language Arts
The associated film clips and the ability to stream them, or a copy of the film.
ESTIMATED TIME NEEDED: 90 min.