A lesson plan on MIGRATION

Lesson plan “Migration”

Basic information:

In the English classes preparing for the A-levels it should be dealt with British as well as American history to understand today’s social and political situation. As many people from Europe left to start a new life in America in the past and some still do so today, it is worth looking at the push and pull factors which lead to migration. This is a plan for two double periods (2 x 90 minutes) for pupils in Year 11 (16 to 17 years old).


The main goal of this short sequence is to gain knowledge about migration and the reasons why people migrate.

Room and material:

The first lesson can be held in regular classrooms as nothing special is needed, the second should take place in a room with laptops and internet access.

Lesson plan for the first double period (90 minutes):

Why do people migrate?

Phase Action Media



Beginning phase

(10 minutes)


To find out what the students already know about the topic, the sequence starts with a brainstorming on MIGRATION. The pupils contribute everything that comes to their minds when they think of MIGRATION and the teacher takes notes on the board. In cooperation with the students, the teacher highlights aspects the class will focus on in the next lessons.  









(10 minutes)



The teacher divides the class into two groups A and B.

The students from each group should start by working alone to order the factors by importance. (Group A: Imagine you were moving to a new country. What would be the most important factors to take into consideration? Put these in order of importance. /

Group B: Which things would most make you want to leave your home city or country? Put them in order of importance.)



Worksheets with tasks for group A / B



(10 minutes)

Then the students work with their neighbour to compare their results, add new aspects and discuss their

reasons for their order.





(20 minutes)


Once the students have had time to compare with others from their group, they build larger groups with one pair from group A and one from group B. They present their results to each other and discuss their outcomes from the task, then decide which factors from each list most motivate people to migrate.


Presentation phase

(30-35 minutes)



Some groups present their results and the class discusses the order of importance.

The technical terms push and pull factors are introduced and defined. (Push factors are the reasons why people want to leave a place – things that push them away from their place of birth.

Pull factors are the reasons why people want to go to one place rather than another – things that pull them towards a place.)






(5-10 minutes)


To make sure that everyone understood the difference, there is a quiz:

Are these push or pull factors?

• Government persecution

• Unemployment

• Good economic prospects

• Good weather

• War or social unrest

• Safe streets

• Corruption

• ….








Lesson plan for the second double period (90 minutes):

America – a nation of immigrants

Phase Action Media



Beginning phase

(10 minutes)


As a silent impulse, the teacher writes the following quote by Barack Obama on the board: ”My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.” Students comment on this quote.  









(60 minutes)



To gain more knowledge about America as a nation of immigrants, students start a webquest and write down the answers to the questions. By doing so,they get to know technical terms having to do with migration (e.g. Green Card, Visa), the requirements  for citizenship and  how immigration to the US works.




laptop, internet access



(10 minutes)

The results of the webquest are presented by the students, they add missing aspects to their answers.





Plan to download: Lesson plan MIGRATION

An interview with Ankido – a refugee from Syria

Jule Schlösser (Year 12) held this interview with her colleague Ankido.


In Assyria everything was “hayat


These words out of the mouth of an Assyrian refugee are very sad to hear. Ankido, a colleague and friend of mine, came to Germany four years ago. Without speaking a word of German and knowing just the writing of our language from an infrequently visited English class, he had to build himself a life in Germany. Because of our topic “migration” I asked him a couple of questions:


Jule:           Ankido, how was your life in Assyria?

Ankido:      In Assyria, everything was hayat (life like paradise). We   were a family with good living-standards and I had the chance to enjoy a good education. My grades were good and I liked to study. My friends and I played football in the streets every day.

Jule:            You said you liked to study. Isn’t that the case anymore?

Ankido:      Well, it isn’t. Since I’ve seen the war in my city, I don’t really care about my education at all. It doesn’t matter to me which grades I get.

Jule:            Was it hard for you to leave your country?

Ankido:      At the end I just wanted to go away. We are Christians in Assyria. To protect our village my friends and I were kind of the last defence. I never had to use the gun I carried with me, but the feeling of this weapon in your hand and the certainty that an attack could happen all the time is a reason to leave your beloved country.

Jule:           That is very tough to hear but about with the present? Do you like Germany? Could you imagine to move back to Assyria when the political situation is better or would you rather stay in Germany?”

Ankido:      I had the chance to stay in Germany before. When I was eleven years old, I visited my uncle, who lived in Germany and my mum asked me if I wanted to stay here. It was a sure thing for me that I want to live in Assyria with my friends. But now, the situation has changed. Nearly all of my friends are fleeing from Assyria and are spread into all the corners of the world (even his brother lives in Goteborg). It wouldn’t be the same moving back to Assyria by now and I really can’t imagine a life there. Germany also brings some good arguments with it. I stopped smoking so much (just three cigarettes while we talked) and I have found good friends and a good job. But I can say that I would totally prefer a life in Assyria before the war.






The file to download: Interview Ankido – a refugee from Syria

Our information board in school

Here you can see two pictures of our information board in school.

There are posters with famous migrants who came to Germany, some information and about our trip to Bremerhaven (German Migration House) written by Niko Henke (Year 10) with leaflets and brochures nad a few pictures of our meeting in Lund.