World Refugee Day Lesson Plan

World Refugee Day, June 20th, commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of forcibly displaced refugees around the world. According to UNHCR, there are 68.5 milion forcibly displaced people. 25 million are refugees.

World Refugee Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

The Following Short Film is Appropriate For All Grade Levels

After watching the following PSA New Together, students consider a time they were new to something to gain a better understanding of how a person immigrating from another country would feel.    

New Together

Produced by:Max Landwirth
For World Refugee Day, let's face the new together and stand with refugees.

The Following Resources are Recommended for Middle and High School Students

MY HERO recommends students watch the following films in order to learn more about refugees in today's world and consider the discussion questions.

Do you have any members of your family or community who were refugees? Share their story with MY HERO.

No exit: Jordan’s most vulnerable refugees -

Produced by:Liz Mermin | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Jayne Fleming, the leader of the Reed Smith Refugee Protection Project,  offers legal and psychosocial support to some of Jordan’s most vulnerable refugees. (running time 9:56 minutes)

Bashir's Dream

Produced by:RYOT Films, DYAD

Bashir's Dream centers around Qusai Bashir Masaama, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee in Jordan who was shot in the back by a sniper while on a candy run. (running time 4:45 minutes)

Three Lives Being Lived in Zaatari Refugee Camp

Produced by:World Food Programme

Forced to adapt to new lives as refugees in Jordan's Zaatari camp, these three Syrians are making the best of things and staying positive. (running time 3:52 minutes)

An Ordinary Day At Zaatari Refugee Camp

Produced by:Produced by: WFP / Directed by: WFP
An Ordinary Day At Zaatari Refugee Camp


Produced by:Unicef Television
Families who are innocent victims of the civil war in Syria seek refuge in an alien country.


Produced by:Dir. Christian Als & Kristoffer Juel

Knowing they may never be able to return home, many refugees have decided to set out on the dangerous and perilous journey for a new life in Europe.

Stories about Ukrainian Refugees from the Christian Science Monitor

Ukrainian refugees push westward, feeling both relief and sorrow

By: Martin Kuz CSM Correspondent @MartinKuz
In Lviv, the last major city before the Polish border, a crush of Ukrainian refugees is relieved to be safe but anguished about all they’ve left behind as they rush toward the unknown

Ukraine refugees met with outpouring of compassion

By: Stephen McGrath Associated Press

Learn about Dr. Hawa Abdi who opened her family's land to refugees during the civil war in Somalia, providing safety. 

Dr. Hawa Abdi - The Mother of Hope Village

By: Nicole

Dr. Hawa Abdi turned her family's land into a hospital to serve displaced Somalians during the civil war.

Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi

Produced by:Aaron Kisner
Dr. Hawa Abdi is Somalia's first female gynecologist. When the central government collapsed in 1989, Dr. Abdi's one-room clinic on her family farm began treating and housing local people fleeing the fighting.

The following stories show the impact of displacement on refugees and the strength needed to overcome.

Hyeonseo Lee

By: Eva Gravin
North Korean Hyeonseo Lee hid in China for 10 years before guiding her family and herself to South Korea for asylum.


By: Rejina Rai

Rejina's Nepalese grandfather was forced to leave Butan with only the clothes on his back. 


Discussion Questions

1. Students are encouraged to research people and organizations helping refugees in each of these countries.What are your thoughts about the global response to the refugee crisis in today's world? 

2. What are some of the causes of the refugee crisis?

3. What organizations or people are helping today's refugees? What can you do?

4. What are some challenges refugees face? Do you know anyone who is a refugee or a family member was a refugee?


Students analyze the mural below depicting refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and Iraq. After reading the short description of the three refugees, who now live in Maryland, students are encouraged to research the causes of the refugee crisis in each of these countries. 

The Global Refugee Mural

By: Joel Bergner

The Global Refugee Mural created by Joel Bergner with Action Ashe! Global Mural Project is in Maryland

MY HERO recommends that students watch this expressionistic film to learn more about the dangers refugees face and consider the discussion questions.

Noisia - Mantra

Sil van der Woerd

This expressionistic film offers the point of view of the refugees in crisis. Mantra chronicles the dangerous obstacles refugees face on their journeys. (running time 4:09 min)


Discussion Questions and Activity

1. Why do you think this film has no dialogue? What effect does that have on the message of the film? 

2. Students research the current refugee crisis to learn more about the people and organizations working to help refugees. 


MY HERO Suggested Video

"Malala Yousafzai - Helping Refugee Girls with “We Are Displaced” & Malala Fund | The Daily Show" (2019) by TrevorNoahShowUSA

Malala Yousafzai discusses her efforts to humanize refugees by sharing their stories and explains why Malala Fund stresses education.

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop higher level learning skills as they evaluate the causes and the global response to the current refugee crisis. 


Teachers: Visit MY HERO for additional MY HERO Curated Resources for World Refugee Day.


Laura Nietzer

The World Refugee Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

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Related Links

USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency

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Organizer created on 5/8/2019 12:35:42 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 5/9/2023 1:35:31 PM by Laura Nietzer