Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Refugee Reading Series: Iraq

I normally stay away from politics here, but when politics directly affect our ELL population, I must address it. Today, I was pleased to find a letter from the President of the International TESOL Association in my box decrying the recent executive orders signed by the new administration. These acts truly are "devastating to the populations we serve, in particular international students, immigrant students and their families, and our own TESOL community," as stated in the well-written missive linked above.

Many of us likely have students in our classroom from the countries in the immigration ban. These students, and likely others, are frightened, feeling isolated, and likely feeling quite unwelcome in their new country. It is up to us at educators to help our students feel like a welcome, valued member of the classroom and school community.

One of the best ways we can foster understanding and cultural awareness in our classrooms is through the use of literature and material that helps us to learn about and better understand other cultures. It is so important to learn about and celebrate the diversity in our classrooms and teach our students to appreciate the rich diversity they and their classmates bring to the community.

Refugee Reading Series

With all of this swirling around in my head, I'm thinking we should begin with those students who are feeling most ostracized due to the current political climate. I've started a little Refugee Reading Series where I'll be creating a Multimedia Text Set for each country affected by the recent executive order. These are 100% free and I'll publish one every few days until I've covered all 7 countries. These are designed for upper elementary and middle school students. Please see information below on how to use this with your students. Access the multimedia text set by clicking on the link or image below.

Iraq Multimedia Text Set

How to use it:

First, access the document. Then, follow the directions below that apply to you.

If you do not have a Google Account (students do not need Google Accounts):

  1. Copy the document URL.
  2. Paste the link in an email or anywhere you want to share it. I recommend using a link shortner like or or using a tool like symbaloo to make it easy!

If sharing  via Google Classroom (you must have a GSuite for Education Account):

  1. Login to your GSuite account
  2. Auto copy the file to your drive by clicking here
  3. Login to
  4. Click the class you want to assign the document to.
  5. At the bottom, hover over "Add" and then click "Create assignment".
  6. Enter the title and any instructions. Attach the document via the drive symbol and select "students can view".
  7. Click assign.
If you have a Google Account but not Google Classroom:
  1. Login to your Google account
  2. Auto copy the file to your drive by clicking here
  3. In your copy of the document, click the blue "send" button
  4. Click Get shareable link in the top right of the "Share with others" box.
  5. To choose whether a person can view, comment, or edit the file, click the Down arrow next to "Anyone with the link" and choose "Anyone with the link can view" .
  6. A file link will be copied to your clipboard. Paste the link in an email or anywhere you want to share it. You can also choose to email directly to your students. 

I hope you enjoy learning and using these multimedia text sets with your students.

Find the other Multimedia Text Sets:

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