In light of recent events, I felt this post was an important one to write. This is definitely a tricky topic that I’m going to tackle here, but I think it is essential to help students understand current events happening in their world. Of course, if you know me, you know I LOVE using a mentor text to integrate across content as much as possible!
Your students have most likely heard the word, “refugee,” in the news a lot lately. It would be a good idea to help them understand the difference between a refugee and an immigrant- especially those of you that teach about immigration in social studies. You can download this definition sheet as a pre-reading activity:
The official definition is, “someone who flees persecution and conflict.” The vocabulary used in the definition is pretty high-level, so use the activity above to help students define flee, persecution, and conflict. You might have students even write synonyms or real-world examples of the words. (I have included some in the download, too, to help you!) It would be a good idea to have students put that definition in their own words to help them understand the meaning of REFUGEE. Although similar to some immigrants who move to a new country seeking a new life, refugees are different from immigrants because they are forced to leave their home for survival.
Once they understand the word, read them the book, Gleam and Glow, by Eve Bunting. I adore all of Eve Bunting’s books because she tackles deep issues in ways that students can understand, and aren’t too scary or overwhelming for them.
I appreciate School Library Journal’s description of this book, and couldn’t really say it better myself, so I am going to share their review below:
Important Times to Stop and Discuss
Integrating With Reading and Writing