VPR In The Classroom: Refugees Have Positive Economic Impact in Vermont

Oct 5, 2016

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Story Synopsis

Vermont is the new home of many refugees from Somalia and other countries that have become dangerous to live in. Some residents in towns with large concentrations of refugees are concerned that the newcomers will be a burden on taxpayers. For the most part, however, refugees are contributing to the well-being of the communities they have become a part of. The local residents in one town in Vermont welcome them. Listen to hear about the experiences of residents of Winooski, Vermont and the refugees who have recently moved there.

For more ideas, read our Teaching Strategies for using Listenwise audio stories with your students.

Use with Grades 6-12, National Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.

Listening Comprehension Questions           

  1. What conditions did most of the refugees come from and why did they leave their homes?
  2. How have residents of Winooski and Rutland responded to the refugees in their towns?
  3. In what ways do refugees contribute to the towns in which they are living?
  4. What challenges do refugees face in Vermont?

Discussion Themes

Use these questions to get your students thinking at the beginning of class. As they listen to the story, use these questions to have a rich discussion.

  1. How would you feel if you had to leave your home and move to a new country?
  2. Do you think refugees should be welcome in all cities of the United States? Why or why not?

Related Resources on Listenwise

Literature Connections

  • Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian
  • Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie