The Issue of Refugees

On Thursday, 17 November, Grade 10 English Language Acquisition students investigated the issue of refugees relating to the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  They participated in a role-play to share their findings.

Half the students were given slips of paper with a topic and a website from which they could find useful facts pertaining to the Inquiry Questions “What are the major causes of refugeeism?” and “How many people are considered refugees?” They had a few minutes to research before presenting their findings to peers while pretending to be experts on their topics.  The remaining students took the role of interviewers from a magazine and asked questions on each topic for one minute.  After the interviewers met with each expert, in turn, the class consolidated understanding through a discussion of the Inquiry Questions based on what they learned through the interviews.

While students did not gain a comprehensive understanding of the topics researched, they found many relevant facts.  When speaking with different interviewers, the experts gained more confidence in their presentation skills and refined their understanding of their topics by presenting them to multiple listeners.  The interviewers practiced their interrogative structures in asking both rehearsed and unrehearsed questions.  This activity was engaging to students as they enjoyed the aspect of playing different roles, and it was a fun approach to facilitating students’ thinking about their current unit of study

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