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Stage 1

Background of this stage: In order to be able to engage well in the encounter with (supposed or actual) otherness, it is important to become aware of one's own experiences, attitudes and values. Self-awareness in this sense is a necessary foundation for opening up one's own mind.


Upon completion of this stage, students should:

  • have become aware of their own values and of their experiences, attitudes and feelings related to the issue of refuge/migration,
  • have become curious and would like to experience and know more about this topic.


  • Students perceive and reflect on their own values and of their experiences, feelings and attitudes regarding refuge and migration.
  • Students discover and articulate their own questions related to the topic of refuge/migration.


Personal self-exploration and moderated exchange among the students, guided by inspiring questions (combined with supportive stimuli).

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Step #1

What is important and valuable for my life ?

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Ask students to create a "profile" of themselves based on the following questions. Explain your students the importance of being “themselves” when they are answering these questions: There are no correct or incorrect, better or worse answers! (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > Is there a particularly impressive person (perhaps even a "hero" or a "heroine"), in books, films or series (or in real life!) who is of special importance to me? Why do I like or admire him or her?
  • > Is there anything about other people that particularly annoys me? What bothers me about this?
  • > Is there an object in my personal room or space that is particularly important to me? Why is it so important to me?
  • > What would have to happen to me and my family for us to leave our homeland and flee?
  • > If I had to flee and to live in another country – whom and what would I miss most?

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Ask the students to form groups of 2:

One student starts and tells the other student what he/she has in mind on these questions. The other student listens and then gives feedback by completing the sentence:

"From what you have just told me, I can guess what is important and valuable to you in your life. With my own words I would express it this way: For you it is important and valuable ...“

  • > The person sharing can briefly comment on whether he or she feels understood and how he or she would describe what is important and valuable to him or her.
  • > Then the other student shares …
  • > Finally, the two students can talk about what is important and valuable to them both and what they may differ in.

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Then you should explain the purpose of this exercise to the students:

  • > If I want to achieve good and constructive contact with people in general but specially with those who I may not approach because they seem different or even strange to me (or who actually are), it is necessary that I know and have a feeling for what is important and valuable to me. Only if I know and appreciate what is really important and valuable to me can I encounter others without too much fear and can I agree with other people about what is important to us as a community living together.

Step #2

My Values - Your Values: Dealing with Differences

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Ask the students to first deal alone with the following questions (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > Whose ideas about what is important and valuable in life are different from mine? List some of the experiences you had where you encountered someone with different ideas from your own and then select one that you especially remember.
  • > With whom was I dealing in that situation? What was the difference between us about what is important and valuable in life?
  • > Are there values of my own that I became aware of during this encounter? (Maybe this is about values I realized in Step 1)
  • > Was there a conflict in this situation, did I try to convince the other person(s) of my position? Have I changed my position?
  • > What feelings (perhaps also physical feelings or sensations) did I experience in this situation?
  • > How do I feel I handled the situation? What helped me? What would have helped me?

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Ask the students to form small groups (3-4) and tell each other one after the other how they have experienced this situation.

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Then a representative of each group should say in a few sentences what was particularly important in their exchange.

If time permits, students can also express the most important conclusion of their exchange in a "creative" way, e.g. through a collage (using newspapers/magazines), through painting one or more symbols on a flipchart or online or on a whiteboard, through a short scene play.

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Short exchange in the class on the following questions:

  • > What feelings are awakened when we are confronted with differences of this kind?
  • > What makes it easier to deal with such differences (perhaps conflicts), what makes it difficult?

For the further course, it can be helpful to write down keywords to both questions on a flipchart and store them. It gets a little more creative and descriptive when not only individual keywords are noted down, but also word clouds are created online or on a whiteboard.


Depending on how much time you have, you can do both of the following exercises (Step 3/1 Step 3/2) or only one of them. In both steps it is important to save the questions collected at the end of the exercise so that they can be used in the rest of the course.

Step #3/1

My experiences with refugees - and my questions

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Ask the students to deal in groups (3-5 students) with the following questions (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > Where have I already seen/met refugees or other migrants – personally or (if that hasn't been the case so far) via media/internet?
  • Alternative question for refugees or migrants in class: Where have I already seen/met people of other backgrounds/countries?
  • > When I think of this/these encounter(s): What questions have been raised as a result? What would I like to know more about?
  • > If a refugee or migrant (e.g. the one I saw/met) came into our class to talk with us: What would I want to ask him or her?

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Ask the students to name the questions that came to their mind and collect (moderation cards or the like) and cluster the questions and save them for further progress!

Step #3/2

When the subject of flight gets a face...

Show the students one of the following videos. As an introduction it is enough to say that it is about

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  • > the 10-year-old Hiba from Syria who had to flee and now lives in Macedonia
  • > or the 17-year-old Filimon from Eritrea who had to flee and now lives in Italy.

Immediately afterwards, ask students to think for themselves about the following questions (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > What different feelings does Hiba/Filimon express?
  • > What feelings did I have when I watched the video?
  • > What do I wish for Hiba/Filimon?
  • > If I could talk to Hiba/Filimon - what would I like to ask her?
  • > What thoughts and questions on the history and situation of Hiba/Filimon, as well as on the subject of refuge/migration in general occur to me?

Ask the students to name

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  • > their wishes for Hiba and Filimon
  • > the questions about refuge/migration that came to their mind

At this point it may happen that a student expresses wishes or questions that are inappropriate, aggressive or hostile. In this case it is necessary to confront the student with questions such as: "Why do you think so? What makes you so uncomfortable? How would you feel if you were in the place of Hiba or Filimon?”
Next, collect moderation cards or the like, and cluster the wishes for Hiba/Filimon and the questions and save them for further progress!

Invitation to Reflection

Explain the reflection task for this stage (Reflection task → worksheet for students)

By the next stage, please:

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Take a photo of an object that represents or symbolizes something that is particularly valuable to you and that you don't want to lose. Add a short explanatory sentence to the picture.

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Make a note of a selected question on the subject of refuge/migration that is of particular interest to you and to which you would like to have answers.

Summary and Transition

Ask the students to explain, in a few sentences, what they have learned in this stage. After some students have said something, you can summarize it in your own words (see the goals of the lesson above).
Then you can explain how the next stage will follow: “Next time it will be about getting oneself knowledge about refuge and migration!”

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