Audience: Year 2-3 EAL/D students (New Arrivals); ESL Scales Stage 1, Band A1
Submitted by: Hanan Elhage
Azzi in Between (by Sarah Garland) is story is about a young girl called Azzi, who escapes with her family to a new country due to war. Azzi and her family flee their unspecified Middle Eastern country and arrive as refugees in the Western city that gradually becomes their home. This is a story full of powerful emotions about fear, separation and loss, but it is also a story about hope and new beginnings.
Teaching and learning ideas:
Lesson 1 (Writing)
Have students view the front page of the book (don’t read or show any other pages of the book at this stage). Pose questions for students to brainstorm and record key words on the board. (EAL/D students might need this as a work bank for future lessons so a word wall should be created.)
• Where is this girl?
• What is happening in the picture?
• Why is the girl holding a toy?
• Where do you think she is?
• Why is she looking behind her?
• Where is she going?
In pairs, have students sit knee to knee and discuss what they think, feel, observe, etc. Using the question card for Compare: How does this connect to your experiences? What is similar?, What is different?; Reflect: How do you feel about what you see?, Why do you think this way?; Empathises: How do you think Azzi is feeling?
Lesson 2 (Writing and Talking)
Using the front cover, have students complete a Y chart (see file below) to write down their predictions of what has happened before this picture took place, what is happening now (what you see in the front cover) and what will happen after this image.
Then, as a group, share the students’ predictions. As you read the book, see if any of the students’ predictions were correct. There is no right or wrong answer.
Compare and reflect about personal experiences, using a Venn diagram. Have students sit in a large circle, with two overlapping hoops in the centre to represent a Venn diagram.
Above one hoop, place an image of Azzi meeting her new teacher. Above the other hoop, place an image of one of your current students meeting you (class teacher). Together, have student compare the two and discuss their similarities and differences. Allow the students to share their personal experiences. The teacher will take the role of recorder to allow the students to build their communication skills.
Lesson 4 (Visual Literacy)
Using the image below, have students discuss what they see. Discuss what is happening and what/why there are several pictures on the one page. What do they represent? Why are there different colours used in the picture? What is the author trying to tell the viewer? Read the text underneath the illustrations and allow the student to discuss. How this makes them feel? And why? Have they been in the same situation? How would they support Azzi if they saw her? Who supported them and in which ways?
Watch the clip (below) about the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Appeal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=83&v=qvzmMuVWZGs
Allow students to discuss what they saw and how they felt. What did it mean to them and why? In groups or pairs, have students complete the Describe, Interpret, Evaluate chart (file below), to record what they saw, what they felt and why they felt that way. Discuss what positive help or support they received from people, government agencies, etc. How does it compare to Azzi’s support?
(Note: These are sensitive topics which may evoke strong feelings in some students. Please provide the necessary support structures and prioritise student wellbeing.)
Read the whole book to the class and have them at the end to reflect on their own experiences.
Use the Intercultural Communication question cards to facilitate discussion.
Lesson 7 (Writing and Talking)
Students draw their favourite memory of their home country (playing with friends, going out with their family, etc.) and then write a brief description of their drawing. Display student work in classroom and allow students the opportunity to present their finished work to the class (short talk).