World Refugee Week

In May, the Oxford University Press announced the Children’s Word of the Year for 2016 was refugee.

The word was selected after analysis of entries from the BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, which asked children aged 5-13 to submit a piece of fiction no more than 500 words in length. With over 123,000 entries, use of the word ‘refugee’ saw a 368% increase from last year’s entries.

World Refugee Week will take place from 19–25 June, with World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June. Following recent global events, it is important that students are aware of the refugee crisis. It is through learning about others that we generate awareness, empathy, and understanding. OUP have put together a great infographic, available on this page.

SCIS has catalogued a range of educational, interactive digital content aimed at sharing the experiences of refugees around the world.

The refugee project (SCIS no 1767814)
In every corner of the earth, ordinary people are forced to leave their homes, often without notice, often never to return. When they cross international borders, they are called refugees. The Refugee Project is a narrative, temporal map of refugee migrations since 1975. UN data is complemented by original histories of the major refugee crises of the last four decades, situated in their individual contexts.

Long journey, young lives: an online documentary (SCIS no 1343711)
The project features 40 ‘micro documentaries’ – each one a series of clips featuring either a refugee child discussing their experience or an Australian child sharing their thoughts on asylum seekers.

Against all odds (SCIS no 1767791)
This online interactive game is designed to teach users how people become refugees and what it is like to be a refugee. There are three games to play under the following headings: War and conflict — Border country — A new life. This site also includes further web facts about refugees, and information and links to additional resources for teachers.

Anatomy of a refugee camp (SCIS no 1767803)
Move the cursor around a plan of a refugee camp and discover what a refugee camp looks like and what all the buildings are used for.

Refugees and migration (SCIS no 1767807)
This unit of work, Seeking refuge — The journey, allows students to explore the human face of the journey undertaken by refugees and asylum seekers, and to create a digital story to reflect what they learn. Texts used include The Happiest Refugee: A memoir by Anh Do, Mahtab’s Story a novel by Libby Gleeson, the non-fiction text Children of War: Voices of Iraqi refugees by Deborah Ellis, and the graphic novel The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Includes teacher resources.

The boat (SCIS no 1764455)
This website links the award-winning interactive graphic novel, The boat, with classroom activities and background information. Based on the poignant story by Nam Le, this multimedia adaptation by Matt Huynh offers an insight into the Vietnamese refugee experience and is suitable for secondary students.

We’d love to hear about any resources you’re using throughout World Refugee Week – you can let us know about them via our cataloguing request form.

Published by


Nicole is the Communications & Projects Coordinator at SCIS. She is the editor of Connections, and is interested in advocating for school libraries everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *