|Scooped by Tali Sarkoezy|
This document has been put together by the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Citizenship for Australian Primary Schools. It contains photos, real stories, facts, and other information about refugees settling in Australia. It also contains classroom activities, in particular a role play activity. Students are given a scenario and list of items that they could take with them. They must choose five items and explain why they chose them. They will then have to go through various situations and make decisions about losing/trading these items.
Keep in mind the problems with role play (van Ments, 1999, p.16), particularly that students may become emotional as the topic is sensitive and that it is not a realistic representation of actual events. Outline that students can opt out of the role play at any time if they do not feel comfortable.
Begin in the classroom - this is the home country. Bring in the 24 items listed or replicate them (eg. $100 in Monopoly money) in the classroom. Find images of the items and print them on small pieces of card. Students take the pieces of card representing the items they have chosen. Students discuss in pairs the reasons why they chose their items. Select a few students to share their thoughts and their partner’s thoughts.
Move outside of the classroom into the playground where a “security point” is set up (eg. two large cardboard boxes students have to pass between). Have support staff or parent play the guard. Students must bribe the guard with two of their items.
Move to the “refugee camp” set up in another area of the playground (eg. witches hats fencing off a small area). To gain extra food, the students must trade another of their items. Next, students have the option of trading the last two items to receive information about their families, who they have been separated from.
Return to the classroom and break out of the role play. Students discuss with a different partner their reasons for deciding to trade their items at each stage of the role play, and report back to the classroom.
Discuss the limitations, challenges, and positive outcomes of the role play with the students. How did they feel at each stage of the role play? Have they learned anything?
van Ments, Morry. (1999). The effective use of role play: Practical techniques for improving learning. (2nd edition). London (Great Britain): Kogan Page Limited.