Lesson plan - driven out


Hypothetical scenario and discussion – This is a short activity which can serve as an introduction to the issues that refugees and migrants can face.


  • To help students gain an insight into what it might be like to be a refugee.
  • To provide an introductory activity to a unit on migration.


Paper and pens.

What to do

  1. Ask students to write down the five most important things in their life at the moment.
  2. Read out the following scenario:

    Australia has been invaded. The government has been overthrown and Australian citizens are not allowed to work, go to school or own homes. Some girls are allowed to work as servants in the homes of the new owners of the country, and someboys are allowed to work on farms, but not for money. People under the age of 15 and above the age of 40 are being killed because they cannot work hard enough. You and your family must escape the country by boat before you are all killed, with only the clothes on your back. You arrive safely in India and are accepted as refugees.

  3. Ask students to cross off the items on their list they no longer have.
  4. Ask students to put up their hands if they still have 5 things on their list, 4 things, and so on. Most students will have nothing left on their list.
  5. Invite students to discuss the things they have lost and retained.
  6. Students now make a new list of the five things that are most important to them in their new country.
  7. In small groups, students compare their first and second lists.
  8. Lead a discussion about the impact of migration and refugee transition to a new country. Encourage discussion of the importance of things such as a sense of belonging, basic needs and rights, ability to communicate, access to services and assistance from the government.

Extension activities

  • Each student could interview a person who has been a migrant or a refugee at some time in their life.
  • Have a guest speaker who has had this experience talk to the class.

Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘Culture is Cool’, Narre Community Learning Centre, VIC, 2003