One Step Closer to Action (LS-ME-721)

Through this educational scenario students will get to learn about migrants and refugees, identify one’s own emotions, challenge their way of thinking and feeling and move from empathy to compassion, which requires action.

Getting a close view on the issue

Through the first three activities students will have the chance to learn to distinguish between migrants and refugees and read stories about them. Reading stories can play an important role for secondary level students to understand the real challenges that refugees and migrants face and empathize with their perspective. At the same time, they will work with Europeana resources, namely pictures of different refugee waves in the past century. By trying to recognize the origin of each wave, they will understand that war, poverty and persecution have no borders.

Putting emotions in order

Through an emotional video on the refugee crisis in the coast of Greek islands, students are challenged to identify their emotions towards people that leave their homes and confront a different view on the issue: the fact that feelings do not have any impact on refugees’ lives and only an active stance can be an answer to alleviate their pain and provide meaningful support. Students will learn that moving from empathy to compassion is important because, while empathy is an instinctual desire to understand other people’s emotions, compassion incorporates action, which means we take a step forward in thinking of how we can really help someone in need.

Google Jamboard activity

Moving collaboratively to action

Finally, students are organized in groups and discover the work of international organizations that provide support to refugees and migrants. As a team, they will choose which action fits them best, the one that they could really adopt. Through searching they will get familiar with multiple actions that those organizations take and will be able to connect their personal interests with possible ways to support people in need.


At the end, students reflect on the activities they worked on and a short discussion is initiated by the educator. With regards to the educational aims that were presented at the beginning, they designate what they learned and how they felt. The educator will need to focus on emotions and see if students really challenged their own way of thinking and feeling.

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CC BY-SA 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Europeana Foundation.

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