Refugee by Alan Gratz Unit Plan - Novel Study Reading Unit
Refugee Unit Plan: This unit includes everything you need to teach Refugee by Alan Gratz. With more than 460 pages and slides of content, there will be absolutely no prep required. This novel unit includes eye-catching presentation slides, print-ready assignments, historical context, questions, vocabulary, quizzes, video journals, and interactive class activities.
Included in the Refugee Unit Plan
➡️ Refugee Introductory Presentation: Introduce the novel with this interactive PowerPoint presentation that includes pre-reading discussion questions, an interactive class activity, a biography of Alan Gratz, a fun review quiz, historical context for each of the three narratives, and background information on the novel.
➡️ Refugee Chapter Summary Cards: These summary cards are an excellent classroom reference for both teacher and student. These 52 printable chapter summary cards outline the most important plot moments from the novel. Simply print and cut out the cards, and you have a resource available that can be used as a tool for struggling readers, as a quick way to find plot moments, or as a tool to find text evidence during essay writing.
➡️ Refugee Quizzes: These short chapter assessments are perfect as a quick check for student comprehension. Included are seven quizzes to assess student comprehension of the novel. Each quiz includes six multiple-choice questions and two quotes that students must respond to by sharing context. For each quote, students are required to explain what is happening at that point in the plot with any relevant information. Detailed answer keys are included.
➡️ Refugee Vocabulary Booklet and Slides: Help students learn new vocabulary words from the novel with this ready-to-use resource. This resource helps students hone their skills in using context clues to determine the meaning of new words as they are used within the novel. Included is a vocabulary booklet organized by chapter sets where students read the new word in a quote from the novel and infer its meaning. Then, they look up the definition to see if they were correct. Presentation slides are included for easy class review or grading.
➡️ Refugee - Video Clips: Help your students make connections to the novel with these video journals. Students will watch a short video clip on YouTube that relates to a topic, theme, or idea presented in the novel. A related journal prompt is included and students share their thoughts and ideas in writing. The videos are not specific to the novel, but they relate in a way that allows students to make a text-to-self or text-to-world connection.
➡️ Refugee Historical Context: This slideshow will help provide students with the important historical context made in the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz. The novel includes three different plot lines set in Germany during the Holocaust, in Cuba during the Cuban Raft Exodus, and in Syria during the Syrian Civil War. The notes provide students with the specific reference made in the novel and an easy-to-understand explanation of the history behind the reference.
➡️ Refugee Questions and Answers: This resource includes novel reading questions organized by chapters that include both comprehension and analysis questions. Student response sheets are included as well as a handout with all questions. Finally, a presentation is included to review the answers with students. The answers are detailed and include text evidence for support.
➡️ Refugee Analysis Notes: This 73-slide PowerPoint presentation shares some of the most important literary elements in the novel organized by chapter. The notes address setting, characterization, theme, conflict, symbolism, mood, allusion, foreshadowing, and much more. The notes can be used for students to copy, or they can be used as discussion starters. After using this presentation, your students will have a much deeper understanding of the novel.
This Refugee Unit Plan also includes creative assignments and activities for each chapter set. You can learn more about what's included below:
Chapters 1 - 6
➡️ Refugee Bookmarks: Start off your unit for Refugee by Alan Gratz by gifting students with a novel-inspired bookmark!
➡️ Refugee Introduction Web Quest: Introduce students to the novel by helping them understand more about refugees more generally with this ready-to-use web quest. Students will explore articles and videos related to refugees to learn more about important terms, what makes someone a refugee, what a refugee's experience is like leaving their home, and how they can help.
➡️ Refugee Historical Context Pre-Reading Timeline: Help provide more context for students about what was happening in Germany, Syria, and Cuba before each of the characters' plot lines begin in the novel with this timeline assignment. Students will read nonfiction articles about the important historical moments leading up to Kristallnacht in Josef's narrative, the Malenconazo protest in Cuba in Isabel's narrative, and the Aleppo bombings in Mahmoud's narrative. Then, they will show their understanding by summarizing the article into the four major events that led to these moments in history.
➡️ Refugee Thematic Graphic Organizer Assignment: Alan Gratz skillfully weaves important thematic elements into multiple narratives in Refugee. Help your students see these connections by having them track ideas and references made to important themes like invisibility, music, time, forced maturity, receiving kindness, facing discrimination, and sacrifice. This assignment is to be used throughout the novel and will eventually be used as a reference for text evidence during the final essay.
Chapters 7 - 12
➡️ Isabel's Interview on the Beach Writing Assignment: In these chapters, Isabel and her family leave Cuba on a makeshift boat along with many others from their country. Though Isabel’s experience is fictional, this mass exodus of boats from Cuba’s shores is based on real events. While Isabel is on the beach, a reporter attempts to interview her about why she is leaving, but she doesn’t have the chance to answer. Students will imagine what Isabel might have said with this creative assignment. They will learn more about this historical event by reading the provided articles on the topic. Then, they will develop the front page news story on the event with integrated quotes from Isabel and one other adult family member on the boat. This will help students demonstrate the difference between a child's and an adult's perspective on this event.
Chapters 13 - 18
➡️ Refugee Message in a Bottle Assignment: Students will imagine that one of the three main characters (Josef, Isabel, or Mahmoud) has a magic bottle that, when dropped in water, can travel through time and space and arrive at another character from the novel. They will take on the perspective of that character and write a letter to one of the other characters. Their goal in writing this is to share their life experiences, the challenges they have faced, how they are feeling, and their hopes for the future (using text evidence). Students will also write a reply letter to show connections between the two characters.
Chapters 19 - 27
➡️ Refugee Blackout Poetry Activity: Blackout poetry is a type of found poetry that is produced by intentionally redacting (blacking out) the words in a text with a marker. The words that remain form the new blackout poem. Students will write their own blackout poems using a single page (or a few different pages) from Refugee as their source text. Included is a slideshow outlining the steps to write a blackout poem and a student handout with the same information. An example poem from the novel is also included.
Chapters 28 - 27
➡️ Writing to a Refugee Assignment: Help students make text-to-world connections by having them write a letter to a refugee who is new to their community. In these chapters of Refugee we see the impact that the kindness of others has on those who have fled their homes in search of a better future. Help students see that they also have the power to have a positive impact on refugees who are new to your country or community. Seek out where you can deliver these letters within your own community! A handout with detailed instructions for how to write the letter is included as well as a pre-writing graphic organizer and a letter template.
Chapters 37 - 45
➡️ Refugee Human Rights Activity: Introduce students to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and have them apply what they learn to the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz with this activity. Students will learn about the 30 universal human rights and analyze the human rights violations in Refugee. They will consider each of the three protagonists and write a paragraph for each character that describes the violations they experienced in the novel using text evidence where appropriate. A sample answer key is provided.
➡️ The Perils of Indifference by Elie Wiesel Activity: The perils of indifference is a theme that is explored significantly in these chapters of Refugee. Students will listen to Elie Wiesel's speech and apply what they learn to the novel. Students will examine and discuss quotes from the speech on task cards and then they will describe a plot event that occurs in these chapters that shows the consequences of indifference. They will also choose one of the task cards to respond to in more depth.
Chapters 46 - 53
➡️ Refugee by Brian Bilson Poetry Connection Activity: Students will show their understanding of the connection between Brian Bilston’s poem “Refugees” and Alan Gratz’s novel Refugee with this poetry response activity. Included is a slideshow to guide the lesson as well as a response assignment with questions to have students compare the two texts. A detailed answer key is provided.
➡️ Refugee Plot Matching Mystery Quote Game: After students have finished the novel, have them sort plot cards for the three narratives with this game in order to reveal a powerful quote that relates to the novel.
➡️ Refugee Symbolism Assignment: Alan Gratz uses many symbols in the novel. Have students explain the meaning of symbols like Isabel's Trumpet, Ruthie's Bunny, and Mahmoud's father's cell phone (and many more) in this assignment. A detailed answer key is provided.
➡️ Refugee Final One Pager Creative Project: One-pagers are a creative way to show your understanding, interpretation, and analysis of a text in a visual way on a single piece of paper. In this final novel project, students will create three one-pagers, one for each of the plot lines in Refugee. Included are detailed instructions for what needs to be included on the one-pager, pre-writing graphic organizers for planning, and one-pager templates for each of the characters.
➡️ Refugee Final Essay Topics: Finish off your Refugee unit plan by having students write a final essay with these ready-to-use topics. The topics align with the thematic graphic organizer that students completed throughout the unit.
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