Refuge Lesson Plans

Creating Lesson Plans


Most refugee camps offer a safe place for refugees to stay providing food and water. However, due to a lack of resources, many refugee camps do not have regular schedules and activities to keep the refugees occupied. This is where REFUGE comes in. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to provide activities to refugees by teaching them new skills and talents. As refugees learn and develop these skills, they will become more marketable for future employment. They will feel a greater sense of purpose each day they spend with you. These activities are therapeutic and help them cope with the challenges of their past and current ones they face each day. In addition, consider the journey of a refugee to the camp. Many of their journeys were life-threatening and miserable. We now have the opportunity to make this current experience in a refugee camp as positive as possible. The best part is that YOU have the opportunity to decide what activities to teach and how to best teach them! 

Use the instruction and template below to prepare what you will teach in advance. That way, you can bring any needed materials and also share this with other participants to use as they help you teach. By creating lesson plans, you will be more prepared to be an asset to the refugees which will benefit their lives significantly. We encourage you to consider your own unique interests, skills, and hobbies as you will be especially qualified to teach or lead activities in those categories (i.e. sports, music, art, etc.).

You may find yourself teaching many refugee children while in country. We offer many activities to children because most refugee parents are going through trauma and depression, and therefore, cannot provide the attention and support their children need. There are many steps in the asylum process and some parents frequently leave camp to go to asylum interviews, look for jobs, or run errands for their family. Giving attention to these children will provide more structure in the child’s life as well as aid for parents who are dealing with personal challenges.  

Remember, the more prepared you are, the more effective your time will be spent in the country. We have learned from past trips that people respond best to organization, so please be prepared as this will be a key to your success and ability to contribute on the trip. 


Please create five lesson plans – at least 3 geared toward children (templates and examples included below), each one lasting 45 to 60 minutes. Submit completed lesson plans to REFUGE at by November 1st for feedback and approval. 

It is important to have a detailed plan, as lessons often go faster than anticipated. In other words, plan to teach more than you may think you need. Be thinking of a backup plan if one finishes early or consider what you would do with extra time at the end. Be prepared for those moments.

It may be wise to test run your lessons at home with others (family or friends) to ensure that they are effective activities. This will also be a good opportunity to evaluate, calculate actually timing, and receive feedback from others. This will count toward your service hours. Email for more information. 

Each plan should include: 

Number of Volunteers – In your lesson plans, be sure to include the number of volunteers needed to make your activity/lesson a success. For example, if you were teaching someone how to play the cello, you would want one volunteer to teach the skill with the refugee, two volunteers managing the other children trying to touch the cello, and one volunteer acting as a music stand. While it may seem excessive, most refugee camps are overcrowded, and increased volunteers help keep things under control. 

Target Audience – Specify what type of audience you would like for your lesson. This could include an age group, gender, or even just say ‘adults,’ ‘teenagers,’ or ‘children.’ It is not always possible to choose a specific audience, so make sure you can easily adapt your activities for different age groups. 

Goal for the Day – Indicate on your lesson plan the intended goal for the activity/lesson. This can be as simple as ‘learn how to strum’ on a ukulele and “paint a rainbow” with watercolors or more complex such as “learn the first five notes of Twinkle Twinkle” on the cello. 

Warm-up – Use this time to help get their wiggles out (if children) or do a small activity that may relate to the lesson. In addition, this is an opportunity to increase familiarity with your group of participants quickly. 

Lesson – Create a detailed plan for what you will teach in your lesson. 

Activity – Use this section to indicate how you will teach your lesson and practice the principles learned. 

Cool-down – This should be a small activity to “wrap up” the entire lesson. It could include practicing what was learned one last time, clean up, an activity to calm the group before they leave, etc. 

Materials Needed – You are responsible to bring the materials indicated on each lesson plan. Reach out to REFUGE with any questions about materials.