Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day


'Refugee day_1' photo (c) 2011, United Nation Armenia - license:

World Refugee Day is coming-up in two days.  Here is how it described at the official site:

“The United Nations General Assembly designated June 20 as World Refugee Day to recognize and celebrate the contribution of refugees throughout the world. Since then, World Refugee Day has become an annual commemoration marked by a variety of events in over a hundred countries.

year’s World Refugee Day theme is “Real People, Real Needs”. Despite the efforts of many, the needs of refugees worldwide are far from being met. Behind the unmet needs are not just numbers but real people with real stories.”

I don’t have time right now to do a thorough job of compiling resources, but, especially since many of our English Language Learner students are refugees, I felt like I needed to post something about the day.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Learning About The Children Refugee Crisis At The U.S. Southern Border

The Best Resources To Learn About The Forced Return Of 4,000 Hmong Refugees By Thailand

The Best Web Resources On Darfur

Here are a few of The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day (and are accessible to English Language Learners):

ESL Holiday Lessons has a English Lesson Plan on World Refugee Day that provides audio support for the text and has an online activity.

Here are photo galleries of refugees from around the world from Refugees International.

Against All Odds is an online game created by the United Nations refugee agency.   In the game you play the role of a refugee in various scenarios.  It’s probably accessible to high Intermediate English Language Learners.

The UN has a number of good videos on refugees. Unfortunately, most are on YouTube and will be blocked by school content filters (See The Best Ways To Access Educational YouTube Videos At School)

GOOD Magazine has an infographic called Seeking Refuge: A Glance At Refugees Worldwide.

The Road To Refuge is a BBC presentation on the plight of refugees around the world. It has a substantial amount of resources on the site.  The link in post connects directly to a slideshow accessible to English Language Learners that highlights refugees from different parts of the globe.

Al Jazeera, the Arabic TV network, has a feature on Hmong refugees in Thailand.

Pakistan’s refugee crisis has been in the news a lot recently. Here are some resources specifically about their plight:

Pakistan’s Invisible Refugees is a slideshow from The New York Times.

Children In Pakistan is a series of photos from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

Fleeing Swat Valley Fighting – Refugees in Pakistan
are photos from The Denver Post.

Here’s a short PDF document from the UN telling about refugee children.

Seeking Refuge is an excellent infographic from The Wall Street Journal showing the “the top countries of origin for refugees.”

TIME Magazine has a slideshow titled The Urbanization of The World’s Refugees.

Beyond The Fire is a PBS site that introduces you to teen refugees.

Refugee 101 may be a bit of a challenge for ELL’s, but it provides an excellent overview of refugees in the United States.

Doctors Without Borders has a few simple lesson plans.

CBC News has a text description of the Anatomy of a Refugee Camp, along with a related interactive.

CNN has many refugee-related videos.

The Guardian has a graphic on refugees in the world.

ABC News also has many refugee-related videos.

Uzbeks flee ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan is a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee about the latest refugee crisis to hit the world.

After The Violence In Kyrgyzstan is a Wall Street Journal slideshow about the same tragedy.

Ethnic attacks in Kyrgyzstan is a series of photos from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

World Refugee Day is a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee.

Faces of the displaced is a series of photos from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture. They’re of refugees fleeing the violence in Libya.

United Nations Refugee Agency Teacher’s Corner and Lesson Plans

Flight and Expulsion is an impressive interactive map showing the refugee flow from and to all parts of the world. You can go and check it out directly, or you might want to read and see short description from Fast Company first.

The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Turns 20 is a series of photos from The Atlantic.

is a new video I’m adding to the list. It’s called “Lost and Found” and has closed captioning.

Following the lives of four refugees and how separation from loved ones has shaped their existence, “Lost and Found: The Story of Refugees United” is a journey into the hardships so many families must endure as they seek to reconnect. See the project at

Dark Passage is a Newsweek slideshow.

Immigration is the title of a Boston Globe series of photos.

Photo Essay: Syrians Escape to Turkey is a photo gallery from The PBS News Hour.

Here is a special photo presentation recognizing sixty years of the United Nations Refugee Agency.

UN report on refugees – in pictures is from The Guardian.

Inside the U.N.’s Shocking New Report on Refugees is from The Atlantic and has some accessible charts.

Slide Show: The World’s Biggest Refugee Hot Zones comes from The PBS News Hour.

LIFE has a slideshow about Somalian refugees.

Haven and Hell: The World’s Largest Refugee Camp.

Dadaab: the largest refugee camp in the world — audio slideshow is from The Guardian.

Exile Without End: Palestinians In Lebanon is a photo gallery from the CBC.

World Refugee Day 2012 is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

And here’s a 2012 photo gallery from the Sacramento Bee.

World Refugee Day Facts

Portraits of Refugees Posing With Their Most Valued Possessions is an extraordinary photo gallery.

UN warns of worst refugee crisis in nearly 20 years is from The Guardian.

Source: Uploaded by user via UNHCR



Where Are the 50 Most Populous Refugee Camps? is an interactive map from Smithsonian Magazine.

A Refugee Camp On The Web is an interactive from Doctors Without Borders.

Syrian Refugees Struggle at Zaatari Camp is an interactive from The New York Times.

Two years on – Syria’s refugee crisis is an interactive from alJazeera.

Refugee Camp in your world is an online game from Doctors Without Borders.

Anatomy of a Refugee Camp is an interactive from The CBC in Canada.

World Refugee Day 2013 is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

The Guardian has published an excellent infographic titled What happened to history’s refugees?

It charts some of the largest “human movements” in history, starting at 740 BC and ending at .

Every registered refugee since 1960: interactive map is from The Guardian.

Ten Largest Refugee Camps is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

The Historic Scale of Syria’s Refugee Crisis is an impressive interactive from The New York Times.

The refugee challenge: can you break into Fortress Europe? – interactive is from The Guardian. It’s done in the mode of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game.

Get Free Or Die Trying is an impressive interactive.

Where would 8.8 million displaced Syrians fit? is from Al Jazeera.

The Refugee Project
by Hyperakt.
Explore more infographics like one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Syria crisis: Uplifting letters of hope is from The BBC.

How to teach … Refugee Week
is from The Guardian.

World Refugee Day Videos comes from The UN.

World Refugee Day 2014 also comes from the UN and has multimedia resources.

The Refugee Project “is an interactive map of refugee migrations around the world in each year since 1975. UN data is complemented by original histories of the major refugee crises of the last four decades, situated in their individual contexts.”

There Are More Displaced People In the World Than Any Point Since World War II is from The Atlantic.

Refugees at Levels Not Seen Since World War II is from The NY Times.

World Refugee Day 2014 is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

How America’s refugee population has changed over time is an infographic from The Washington Post.

Over Under Sideways Down is an interactive online comic strip about refugees, created by the Red Cross.

Other suggestions are, as always, welcome.

If you found post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hi Larry,

    That’s a fantastic list, we missed two of them ourselves. Thanks for this.

    Would you also be able to mention that Microsoft are donating $1 for every person who joins They are also matching any donation made.

    – Rich

  2. You might also be interested in these slideshows by the duckrabbit team about the life of internally displaced people in Kenya.

    Great resource this by the way.



  3. Pingback: How Would You Feel If You Were Forced To Return To Your Native Country? | Intermediate English Class

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