English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Asylum
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Presentations
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Granting Refuge Activity

    Granting Refuge Activity


    In this lesson, students will be assigned a role for the Granting Refuge Activity. They’ll meet in groups to research, develop strategies, and plan how to argue for granting asylum or denying it.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Decide how you want to organize groups for the Granting Refuge Activity.
    • Confirm you can access the Immigration Policy Center homepage ( ).

    Granting Refuge Activity

    • Organize the students into groups as laid out in the instructions to the Granting Refuge Activity. Each group should have at least eight or nine students (one to take the role of the young person seeking asylum, two to argue for granting asylum, two to argue against it, and three or four to serve as the policy board and to make the decision).
    • If your class is larger, you could form larger groups and assign more students to the defense team or prosecution team.
    • Clarify the deadlines for the different steps and calendar them.
    • Answer any questions students have.
      • ELL: Be sure that ELLs are able to engage in doing research meaningfully. Consider discussing with them some of the sources they plan to use for their research before starting. In addition, offer support while they are doing the research. ELLs should be encouraged to use bilingual or monolingual dictionaries or both.
    • In Granting Refuge Activity Teacher Notes, you will find recommendations about how to address issues of stereotyping. The document also contains additional information about the activity for the teacher.


    Your teacher will assign you a role and a team for the Granting Refuge Activity, in which you will do research to decide which of four teenagers should be granted asylum in the United States.

    The class will be organized into small groups that will meet regularly through Lesson 23.

    • Reread the instructions for the Granting Refuge Activity to make sure you understand what to do.


    • Students will need time to research and gather information about their assigned character and to refer to the U.S. immigration policy as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
      • SWD: Be sure all students are fully engaged. Pair students who need help with students who can peer tutor them. Encourage SWDs to ask their group members to help clarify any concepts they still find confusing.

    Work Time

    Meet with your Granting Refuge Activity group.

    • Together, complete steps 2 and 3 in the instructions for the Granting Refuge Activity.

    If you need to review “How the United States Immigration System Works: A Fact Sheet,” go to the Immigration Policy Center’s homepage ( and search for the article.


    • Before dismissing students, let them know they should continue their research and be prepared to share what they find during Lesson 20.
    • Let them know they will also have time to meet in other formations so that all the defense people can share, all the prosecutors can share, and all the policy board members can share.


    What additional questions do you have for your teacher, now that you have had time to work on the research? Ask them now.

    You will meet again with your group during Lesson 20, but the class will also reconfigure into other groups so that all the defense people can share, all the prosecutors can share, and all the policy board members can share.

    Independent Reading and Research

    • Remind the class that their Independent Reading books need to be completed by Lesson 22.


    Continue working on your assignments.

    • Continue your research, and prepare to share what you have learned during Lesson 20.
    • Read your Independent Reading book. Plan to finish the book by Lesson 22.