Warm-up: Students discuss their understanding of climate change and migration.
Introducing the Lesson: Students learn key vocabulary related to climate, migration, and gender in order to access the film.
Analyzing the Reporting: Students watch and analyze the 10-minute documentary Moving Migrants and respond to comprehension and discussion questions.
- Research and present on an environmental leader
- Write a letter to advocate for action
- Create an infographic
- Create an artistic piece to inspire change
Students will be able to...
- Determine central ideas of a video about climate migration
- Examine the relationship between climate change and migration
- Analyze the challenges faced by climate refugees
- Use research, writing, and presentation skills to engage with video journalism
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- What is climate change? What is migration?
- In what ways are climate change and migration related?
- Do you think some countries are more affected by climate change than others? Why or why not?
- Do you think different groups of people in your own community are affected by climate change differently? Why or why not?
Introducing the Lesson:
In this lesson, we will watch, analyze, and discuss a short video by Asha Stuart and Shamsuddin Illius published in The Business Standard. Titled Moving Migrants, this documentary explores how climate change is forcing people to leave their coastal homelands in Bangladesh. The film captures the challenges that climate migrants face as they transition to cities and look for work and housing.
Some useful vocabulary for this lesson:
- Climate change
- Climate migrants/environmental migrants
- Coastal (residents)
- Soil erosion
- Sea level rise
- Gender based discrimination
Analyzing the Reporting:
Watch the video, then respond to the comprehension and discussion questions.
- Why are coastal residents in Bangladesh forced to leave their homes? (Coastal residents lose their homes due to soil erosion and sea levels rising that result from climate change)
- What are some of the challenges climate migrants face once they are forced to relocate to cities?
- According to the video, what kind of future awaits people living on the island of Bhola? (An uncertain future; residents predict that in one month their homes will be fully submerged)
- Why are some people on the island of Bhola whose homes are already partially underwater unable to leave their homes? (Money)
- According to the video, what group of people are the silent backbone of families in Bangladesh?
- What challenges make life harder for climate migrants who are women?
- What jobs do climate migrants who have relocated to cities frequently find?
- How are schools impacted by the daily high tide in Chittagong?
Use details from the story and your own reflections and experiences to respond to the following questions. These questions can be explored as part of whole-class discussions, small-group discussions, or individual reflections.
- What moments, phrases, or images from the film stood out to you? Why?
- Why is this story important?
- What new information did you learn that you did not know before? Did anything surprise you?
- Why is it important to hear from people being impacted by climate change, specifically climate migrants?
- Has this story challenged, expanded, or reinforced any of your own ideas relating to climate change and/or migration? If so, how?
- Does anything from the reporting feel relevant to other stories you have seen in the news or to your own community?
- Research and Presentation on an Environmental Leader: Who is an environmental leader, changemaker, or activist in your community? Research climate activism in your city, state, or country and identify a person or an organization that is either spreading awareness about environmental issues or developing solutions to climate change. If possible, reach out and interview this individual or a representative of the organization. Put together a presentation to share with the class. Address the following questions in your presentation:
- What is their mission?
- Where do they work?
- What solutions, actions, or policies are they promoting?
- How is this organization or person taking a unique approach to climate activism?
- How might we support their work in our everyday lives?
2. Letter Writing: Make your voice heard and influence elected representatives. Write a letter to a representative of your choice expressing your concern about the issues of climate change and/or climate migration. In your letter, explain why climate change and/or climate migration is an urgent issue and why it should be given priority. Then suggest a specific action they could take to improve circumstances. In addition to sending letters to their chosen representatives, students writing in the fall can also enter their letters into the Pulitzer Center's annual writing contest, Local Letters for Global Change, for the chance to win prizes and publication.
3. Create an Infographic: Moving Migrants explores how climate change is forcing people to leave their coastal homelands in Bangladesh. Create an infographic that illustrates and explains the migration journey of the climate migrants you learned about in the documentary, or examine the journey of climate migrants in another region. Use the following questions to guide your research:
- Where are the climate migrants you researched from, and what climate-related events caused them to migrate?
- About how many people having to leave their homes in this country, city, or area?
- Where are people migrating, and why?
4. Art for Change: Art can be used as an instrument to inspire social and political change. With this in mind, create a piece of art that calls attention to the issue of climate change and/or climate migration. Draw from what you learned in the Moving Migrants documentary. You can draw, paint, write a poem, choreograph a dance, or use photography to inspire climate action. Be creative and have fun.
Common Core Standards:
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Additional Curricular Resources:
If you are looking for more lessons related to climate change and/or migration, explore these options: