Explore the Syrian Refugee Crisis With These Powerful Resources

"Swimming for Her Life" in the November issue of Scope tells the amazing story of 18-year-old Yusra Mardini, an incredible athlete who fled her home country of Syria and went on to compete in the Rio Games last summer. We hope that her powerful story will inspire your students to learn more about the refugee crisis and the situation of refugees around the world—and what your students can do to help.


Here are five powerful resources to keep your students' learning going:



To Read and Watch: Scope 's nonfiction article "Shattered Lives," about child refugees from Syria, and the accompanying video

To Do: Hold a class discussion about the world's responsibility to refugees.





To View: an infographic from the UNHCR visualizing the Syrian refugee crisis

To Do: Have students study the infographic and discuss the information it provides that is not included in the article "Swimming for Her Life."



Zoltan Zempleni/Shutterstock


To Write: a letter to a Syrian refugee 

To Do: Students may feel powerless after learning about such a severe humanitarian crisis. Writing a letter to a refugee is one way they can have an impact. Have students write a message of hope to a Syrian refugee through the organization CARE. See details here. Here are some other ways students can get involved.



Clarion Books


To Read: the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

To Do: Have students write an essay about how war affects children. How do Yusra and the characters in the novel overcome their challenges?



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IDEA 5 (challenging)

To Read: a high-level article about the refugee crisis of World War II

To Do: Hold a class discussion about the refugee crisis during and after World War II. Have students consider how that crisis and the current refugee crisis are similar and how they are different. Who were the refugees during World War II and what was their situation? What was the response from the international community to refugees then and what is it now? What can be learned from both situations?



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this story really inspired me to help others when in need and to pursue our dreams