Mog and World Refugee Day

The lesson is 2 hours long with a 10 minute break.

The beginner class joined my intermediate class for this lesson.

There were 15 students with a wide range of English ability.

Lesson Goals

  • students will be proud to be a refugee
  • students will know that there are many successful refugees in the UK
  • students will be able to recognise and use sequence transitional phrases
  • students will be able to use appropriate punctuation with transitional phrases


I had students guess what I did yesterday evening from prop clues. When the students said a sequencing transitional word (first, then, next, etc.),  I wrote it on the board.


I then asked students what they did yesterday and asked them if they knew it was a special day. None of them knew that yesterday was World Refugee Day.  😮 I explained that World Refugee Day was a day to celebrate the strength and courage of refugees.  I put three refugees on the board and asked the students how the refugees were related to my evening yesterday. After I explained that Michael Marks cofounded Marks & Spencers, they were able to guess the connection with the other refugees and my events. I found the refugee biographies and graphics at I am a refugee.



Use it in Conversation

I then gave out sheets with the stories of the refugees on the board. I gave a sheet with more detail and more advanced vocabulary to the intermediate students.  Using the visual on the sheet, I reviewed how transitional phrases take us from one event in the story to the next.  I had a student read an event and then we would discuss it as a class.  While discussing, I prompted students to use transitions.  (IMPROVEMENT FOR NEXT TIME: To increase student talking time, I will put students in small groups and give each student in the group a different refugee story and have them tell their group about the story they received.)

myeveningrefugees2 beginners


Listening and Writing Exercise

Dictation time! I had students turn over their story sheets so they could no longer look at them. I read out one of the events three times while the students tried to write it. I asked the intermediate students to try to write the entire event. I told the beginner students to pick out any words they could recognize and try to write them. I left some clue words on the board for them. (IMPROVEMENT FOR NEXT TIME: Have a fill in the blank worksheet of the dictation for beginners.) At the end, I revealed the complete wording on the board and let students check their work. I emphasised the transitional phrase and asked who remembered the comma.  The students loved this activity and wanted to try again with another event to try to do better than their last attempt. We repeated the exercise three times with three events. I gave lots of praise to beginners if they were able to write any of the words. The intermediate classmates offered lots of encouragement to the beginners. ❤

Review Puzzle


I broke students up into groups of mixed ability and gave them Alek Wek’s story cut into pieces. I asked the groups to put them into order. The puzzle had simple wording and one transitional word choice for each paragraph. If a team finished correctly, I had a more difficult story puzzle of Gulwali Passarlay.  Gulwali’s story had advanced vocabulary and several choices of transitional words for each paragraph. Students enjoyed the puzzles. (IMPROVEMENT FOR NEXT TIME: Have students stick the pieces of the puzzle in order on a mini whiteboards so that we can hold it up and talk to the class about it once they have finished. Have a third puzzle available for groups that are really fast.)


It was an unusually hot day in Croydon, 33°. It felt like 40° in the classroom, so I broke for break 10 minutes early.  One of the beginner students chose to skip break and copy the Alek story to practice his writing. 😎

IMG_1757 (1)

Real-World Practice

I gave the students a letter that Gulwali Passarlay kindly wrote to them. In the letter, Gulwali gave them advice, including to have a clear plan for the next five years. So I asked the students to write their plan for the next five years. I reminded them to use sequence transitional words and phrases.  I gave the beginner students sheets that had paragraphs started for them.  I also put a word bank on the board of words they might need.  Students who wanted to, read their plans to the class.

I had students check to see if they had used the transitional words correctly with correct punctuation.

It was fun to hear the wide variety of goals the students had. We have future engineers, lawyers, doctors, and game designers in our class!

At the end of class, I wished the students happy Refugee Day and told them how proud I am of them.

Teacher Notes

THINGS TO WORK ON: I noticed students using good as an adverb.