A Light Extinguished: Discussion Guide for Grades 3-6
It may be difficult for children to put themselves “in another child’s shoes”, but it can be a valuable exercise in helping to understand experiences different from their own. The following activities seek to guide children toward empathy and compassion for those children whose families seek refuge in a new country.
(For grades 5-6 the prompts can be addressed as a solitary or small group writing assignment, which can then feed a classroom discussion. For grades 3-4 a more guided approach and classroom discussion is recommended)
- What are some of the reasons that a family may need to or want to leave their country of origin?
- Personal Safety
- Lack of Resources
- Family Reunification
- Often when refugees are fleeing an unsafe situation in their home country (or country of origin) there is very little time to gather their belongings. They must be able to carry it with them on what may be a long journey to safety. What are some items you would choose to put in a bag the size of your backpack? Why would you choose those items?
- What would you miss if you suddenly needed to leave your home and move to a different country? (People, places, things that you could not bring with you)
- How would you hope to be treated when you arrived in your new home and attended your new school?
Recommended Companion Units and Lesson Plans
Scholastic’s: Immigration-Stories of Yesterday and Today
- Interactive Tour of Ellis Island http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/
- Meet Young Immigrants http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/young%5Fimmigrants/
- Virtual Field Trip to Ellis Island http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/webcast.htm
Tolerance.org (A spectacular resource for lessons plans for K-12)
- Exploring Young Immigrant Stories https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/tolerance-lessons/exploring-young-immigrant-stories
- Questioning Identity while Respecting Diversity https://www.tolerance.org/learning-plan/questioning-identity-while-respecting-diversity
- Diversity with Dr Martin Luther King Jr https://www.tolerance.org/learning-plan/diversity-with-dr-martin-luther-king-jr