Grade 8 classes simulate refugee experiences

IMG_8755To begin the unit on Population and Migration, the Grade 8 Social Studies classes of Mr de la Cruz played a simulation game called “Passages”, which was published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to get a glimpse of the travails of the refugees.

Seven modules were played – Family set-up, Escape and Separation, Emergency Supply Case, Temporary Shelter, Setting up camp, The Family Spokesman, and Meeting the Local Population. In this video clip you will see two modules, Escape and Separation,  and The Family Spokesman. In Escape and Separation, students were divided into different refugee families. They were in a city centre filled with other refugees coming from the provinces. Suddenly, planes swoop down the area and dropped bombs. Families scattered; families got separated because of thick smoke and mayhem. They got to find one another. To simulate not being able to see through thick smoke, the students were blindfolded. In Family Spokesman, each refugee family went to apply for asylum to live in a foreign country. A family spokesman had prepared very well the family’s case for asylum. Only they did not know beforehand that the immigration officer would speak a completely different language! Mr. de la Cruz speaking in his native language acted as the immigration officer. After every module, a debriefing took place to reflect about what was learned.

See this video clip of the two modules described previously:

By Ven de la Cruz, MS Social Studies teacher