Global people

The unit of work, Global people, explores the human dimensions of forced and voluntary migration.

Texts used include the picture story book Ziba Came on a Boat, written by Liz Lofthouse and illustrated by Robert Ingpen, and the real-life story of Najeeba, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. The focus might be complimented by having junior novels for students to read independently during the unit, such as Mahtab’s Story by Libby Gleeson, Parvana by Deborah Ellis, and Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman.

Somali Bantu refugee Children in Florida. Photo Melvin Baker, CC-BY-2.0

Above: Somali Bantu refugee Children in Florida. Photo Melvin Baker, CC-BY-2.0

Australian curriculum links

The general capabilities emphasised in the unit of work Global people are literacy, information and communication technology (ICT) capability, critical and creative thinking, ethical behaviour and intercultural understanding.

See how this unit relates to Australian Curriculum: English content descriptions and NSW Syllabus outcomes.


This unit provides opportunities to explore the ideas that:

  • people migrate for many reasons
  • there is migration within nations as well as between nations
  • a refugee is a person who has fled his or her country of origin in fear of being persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, public opinion or membership of a particular social group
  • an asylum seeker is a person who has fled their home and is seeking protection from another country. They are waiting for their claim to be a refugee to be evaluated.

Teaching and learning activities

  1. Introduce the unit with Australia’s migration story
  2. Words for migration
  3. Forced migration in Ziba Came on a Boat and Najeeba’s story
  4. Student research on the life of a well-known migrant

For the teacher

World Vision has additional resources for Migration: People on the move. The World Refugee Week Teacher Pack (.pdf 3.3 MB) used in activities here has valuable factual information to help students understand refugees in Australia. Explore complex issues around asylum seekers with the SBS series Go Back To Where You Came From.

Note that print downloads do not include updates applied online, including curriculum changes over time and should be used with caution:    .doc 14.6 MB    |    .pdf 1.1 MB    |   Copyright