Political Asylum Teacher Resources
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Political Asylum Talk Show
Learners view videos, visit websites, and read about the nature and changes made to the idea of political asylum. Beginning with Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, they will explore policy change throughout the years. The lesson culminates in a simulation of discussions regarding the tragedy of SS St. Louis.
Issues of Asylum in the U.S.
Students consider asylum and refugee status. In this U.S. asylum lesson, students investigate the cases of Walter Polovchak and Elian Gonzalez. Students then consider the case for asylum reform.
Social Studies: Haitians in America
Students examine Haitian culture, including its discovery, colonization, and political and economic development. Role-playing in two ethnic groups, they caucus and develop strategies for the Haitian Revolution. In learning centers, students create Haitian meals, assess the religions, and survey immigration policies.
Too Large to be a Lunatic Asylum: South Carolina’s Mental Health
Eighth graders examine the history of South Carolina's mental institutions. In this South Carolina history instructional activity, 8th graders discover details about asylums built in the state in the 1800's. Students analyze primary sources about mental health care in the states and create timelines that feature the history of mental health care in the state.
Conflict Between Democratic and Authoritarian Rule in Haiti
Twelfth graders examine the background of democratic and authoritative rule in Haiti. In pairs they conduct a simulated interview, reporting for a news station about the political, personal, and economical life in Haiti. They conduct Internet research, write their interview questions, and present a video presentation of their interview.
Human Rights And Refugees: The Right To Asylum
Students read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, define asylum and identify when people have the right to asylum. They examine specific cases of asylum in recent times and consider some of the difficulties refugees face.
America, Refugees and Asylum
Students watch the program, "Well-Founded Fear," and conduct a classroom debate regarding U.S. asylum policy and asylum status being eased in order to provide more refugees safe haven in the United States.
Asylum Talk Show
High schoolers investigate the case of a German ship containing Jewish refugees seeking asylum from Nazi persecution in the late 1930s. They conduct Internet research, watch a video, and role-play passengers from the St. Louis on a simulated talk show.
Out of Jails and Into Asylums: The Mission of Dorothea Dix
High schoolers examine the life and efforts of Dorothea Dix on behalf of people with disabilities. They discover how she wanted to put people into asylums instead of leaving them in jail.
Rushing the Border
Students discuss the issues of immigrants who overstay their legal welcome. They explore the recent changes in immigration registration, and participate in a roundtable discussion.
No Friends but the Mountains: A Simulation on Kurdistan
Students read background information on the people of Kurdistan and explore the geographical, political and ethnic history of the region. They participate in a debate where they role-play various points of view in the conflict.
Young scholars investigate various European political parties with anti-immigration agendas. They examine and write written reports concerning the party goals of exclusion or restriction of immigrants in their societies. Students present political immigration profiles to the class.
Learners investigate, examine and explore the concept of migration, reasons for migration and interpret and represent population data dealing with migration. They become aware of the current issues concerning asylum seekers and refugees.
Letters From The Diaspora
Students investigate the concept of mass migration and conduct research using a variety of resources. The information is used in order to create letters written from the perspective of a person who may have migrated during the time period.
Madeleine Albright: First Lady of State
Students explore how Madeleine Albright made history by becoming the first female American secretary of state. This tough, talented and determined woman has had an unusual life that has well prepared her for her job.
Rights and Responsibilities - Part 2
Citizenship and basic human rights are the focus of the activity presented here. In it, learners compile a basic list of human rights, then access a website in order to complete some activities that are based on rights and responsibilities. The activities are meaningful and educationally sound. As a final activity, pupils construct and "ideal citizen" together. They add images and words to show the key rights the citizen has, and the responsibilities that are associated with these rights. An inventive, and enjoyable activity!
Never To Forget
Tenth graders discuss the events leading up to antisemitic behavior in Europe during World War II. Through various activities, 10th graders acquaint themselves with the political ideology of Nazism and assess responsibility for the Holocaust. Materials to complete this unit are included.
My Home is Not Your Home
Students examine tension in Slovakia over issue of the rights of Romas (Gypsies). They compare and contrast situation in Slovakia to other historical examples researched in class.
Introduction to the Holocaust
Students examine the events surrounding the Holocaust in World War II. After viewing a clip from "The War", they work together in groups to research the various responses from governments on the tradegy. To end the lesson, they write a journal entry about how to remember the victims and support the survivors.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Freedom
Welcome to America, the land of liberty and freedom. Examine the ways in which the terms liberty and freedom have been used in the United States. After researching and analyzing quotations from the past and present, learners create an illustrated timeline to display in the way these words have been used throughout history. This lesson can be adapted to many grade levels and originally comes from The Learning Network.