Students worked to address a problem facing Syrian refugees. Students had to identify a problem they were interested as well as a plan that could be practically and sustainably addressed. They also had to investigate supplies and materials to make it happen. Students learned from real refugees through interviews over Skype as well as in person, and did traditional research. Students also worked together to produce TED talks that were screen in a public event.
"I have taken away many lessons from this Syrian refugee unit so far. It was really interesting to have someone talk to us about their experiences as a refugee. It’s very helpful to learn about refugees from different points of view. His talk showed us a personal side of being a refugee. During class time, we learned more about Syrian refugees by watching news reports, documentaries, reading articles and doing guided research. We learned about the causes and effects of this Syrian refugee crisis because the impacts of elements, including government, societal and economical issues are all so varied. It was intriguing to me to learn about why these conflicts started in the first place. These class discussions and research left a lot of us to wonder about what we can do to help. Recently, there was a fire in Canada and many houses were burnt to the ground. The majority of people who were generous enough to help the Canadians were the Syrian refugees. This only proves that if you are kind to another, they will treat you with kindness in return. This unit has made students think about the ways we can resolve these conflicts, whether it is using kindness or spreading awareness." - Audrey
“We took our reflections from last year's refugee unit and implemented needed changes to this unit. We changed the focus from four groups of refugees to only one group of refugees (Syrian). We then focused the learning on more teacher directed learning activities about the cases of the Syrian conflict and the effects the civil war had on the Syrian citizens. Last year students were given time to complete independent research to reach their own conclusions. However, we found that the topics were so deep and complex that students often did not comprehend their independent research and this resulted in misconceptions. This year, with teacher directed activities, the student learning has been deeper, much more thoroughly understood and the quality of conversations has been superior." - Melanie Ryan