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Lesson plans for ages 9-11 in Art: A Response Through Artwork

Teaching Tools, 9 April 2007

© UNHCR/F.Bonelli
Fragment of the cover of the report called 'A report-back to children who participated in the UNHCR research study on violence in the lives of refugee and returnee children in Southern Africa', June 2005.

LESSONS 3 and 4: What refugee children draw


Have on display various artworks by refugee children listed under Resources in the Unit Plan for Ages 9-11 in Art. These pictures express the children's experiences, or the conditions they live in.

There should also be on display prints or reproductions from various art books that depict ordinary, peaceful life in any age, e.g. Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir (which shows couples dancing happily while a group of friends chat at a table); Paysannes Bretonnes by Paul Gauguin (which depicts Breton women in a colourful pastoral scene).


Let each student select a refugee child's picture to think about. There can be several students per picture.

Discussion questions

  • What is the picture about? What do you see in the picture?
  • Why do you think the child who drew the picture included these things in his/her picture?
  • Does your selected picture describe an experience the child artist has lived through, or is it a picture about his/her current living conditions?
  • Have a look at the other pictures on display the ones which are not by refugee children. What are the pictures about?
  • How do you feel while looking at the refugees' pictures? What different feelings do you have while looking at the other, peaceful pictures?