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Refugee Resources

New zine! Searching for Home: Nasrin’s Journey

Inspired by the refugee experiences of several students from Byrne Creek Secondary School in Burnaby, this zine tells the story of a fictional Yazidi family who flee from war-torn Iraq to Canada. Students will learn about the many barriers most refugees face before finally settling as permanent residents in their country of asylum. Teachers can print multiple copies of the zine or students can read it on a SMART Board or tablet. The lesson plans help students to delve deeper into the refugee experience.

Click zine image to view full screen.

Nasrin’s Journey downloadable PDF
(teacher version)

Nasrin’s Journey downloadable PDF (Elementary)

Nasrin’s Journey downloadable PDF (Intermediate/Secondary)

Nasrin’s Journey additional resources

Nasrin's Journey Primary Lesson Plan

Nasrin's Journey Intermediate Secondary Lesson Plan 

Inside my heart, film and lesson plans

Humanitarian Crisis: How you can help

Information about Syrian refugees

  • Population Profile: Syrian Refugees: This document, prepared by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provides information on demographic characteristics and cultural considerations of Syrian refugees. They recommend that teachers use discretion in how they “stereotype” the people from Syria coming to Canada, noting that “people can be offended by even the best intended-to-be-helpful statements, which can be seen as biased and over-simplified.”

Books about refugees in the school system

  • From Bombs to Books: The remarkable stories of refugee children and their families at an exceptional Canadian school (David Starr, James Lorimer & Company, Ltd. Toronto, 2011).


  • Kris Hull, a teacher at the ELL Welcome Centre, offers workshops for teacher working with refugee children. His workshop PowerPoint can be found here. To book a workshop, please contact the Surrey School District ELL Welcome Centre at 604-543-3060.


  • Refugees Welcome Here: The Canadian Council for Refugees, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of refugees, is working on a public awareness campaign with Amnesty International Canada to make Canada a more welcoming place for refugees. Sign up for information updates and to request resources.

Resources for teachers

  • Culture Shock for Refugees: Starting a conversation among people moving out of need not out of choice
    A useful document about culture shock created by Chris Carrier. This booklet helps newcomers identify some of the symptoms of culture shock and identifies strategies to help respond to it. An Arabic version will be posted soon. 

  • Teaching Refugees: PowerPoint presentation
    This presentation was developed by Kris Hull, a teacher at Surrey School District English Language Learners’ Welcome Centre. The PowerPoint contains facts about refugees around the world, some of the challenges resettled refugees may face in Canadian schools, and suggestions for supporting these students in the classroom.

  • Helpful Resources for Teaching Students of Refugee and Trauma Backgrounds
    This resource was designed by Kris Hull to accompany his PowerPoint presentation, Teaching Refugees. It lists a variety of resources for teachers, including videos, print resources, and websites. The document also includes teaching strategies, a description of the four stages of culture shock, and a list of resource books.

  • Picture books
    This resource, developed by Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, provides a list of picture books and read-aloud books addressing refugee issues for teachers to use in the classroom.

  • Welcome Home: A resource kit for unions and labour councils
    This Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) document describes labour councils' role in supporting refugees and provides helpful tips on how to become involved. Available in English and French.

  • Stepping up to Support Refugee Students
    In this article, on page 12 of the January/February 2016 Teacher Magazine, teachers and Immigrant Service Providers from the Lower Mainland offer advice on how teachers can support students who arrive as refugees.

  • Refugees Welcome Special Edition Newsletter
    The Refugees Welcome Special Edition Newsletter was developed by the members of the Surrey Teachers’ Association International Solidarity Committee. This newsletter contains a number of resources to help teachers welcome and support refugees into their classrooms.

  • Teacher Support for Refugee Children in Canada
    An orientation and useful first steps for receiving refugee children into regular classrooms. It provides useful suggestions to help teachers support refugee students as they integrate into the classroom. We wish to thank Chris Carrier for sharing this resource with BC teachers.

  • Students from Refugee Backgrounds: A guide for teachers and schools
    This resource, created by the BC Ministry of Education, was developed to support teachers and school staff in supporting students who arrived as refugees and their families.

  • Promising Practices of Early Childhood Education for Immigrant and Refugee Children in British Columbia
    Produced by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC, this document outlines best practices used by early childhood educators in supporting immigrant and refugee children.

  • Books to help kids understand what it’s like to be a refugee

Lesson plans

The following lesson plans are available to download for free on the Critical Consortium website:


  • Forum: Antiracism and Anti-hate Initiatives—Supporting the Integration of Refugees in our Communities

  • Kids Health
    This website provides a definition of culture shock, as well as the causes and the associated emotions. It also provides suggestions for coping such as learning the language, dealing with teasing, and seeking help from friends, family members, and counselors.
  • Learning and Violence
    This Canada Helps website provides information and strategies to support learners who have experienced violence.
  • ABC Life Literacy
    This site provides parents with strategies to help their children develop literacy skills.
  • Teaching Refugees with Limited Formal Schooling
    This site provides links to a number of resources supporting pre-schooling and young school-aged children.

Teachers share their resources

What are you doing in your classroom to support students who arrived as refugees? If you have resources, lesson plans, or links to websites that BC teachers may find useful, please send them to

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