Geography Lesson Idea: Migration

Geography Lesson Idea: Migration

To illustrate how you can use some of the key elements and skills and capabilities in Key Stage 3 Geography lessons, see the information below for lesson plans and resources.

The aim is to create a more informed understanding of what migration is, the benefits and problems it can bring and the reason it is such a complex issue for governments to manage.

Cross-Curricular Skills

  • Communication.

Key Elements

  • Cultural Understanding;
  • Citizenship; and
  • Media and Ethical Awareness.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others; 
  • Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making; and
  • Managing Information.

Links to other subjects

  • English: Ask your pupils to complete a piece of writing from the migrant’s viewpoint or that of locals in the destination country; and
  • History: Make a link to the historic relations between the countries involved and why there is political unrest.

Learning Intentions

Pupils are learning:

  • what migration means;
  • the benefits and the problems linked to migration; and
  • about the difficulty in resolving the migration issue.


Use a PowerPoint presentation to outline the learning intentions. Start a discussion by asking your pupils to write down their definition of migration and listen to a few sample answers. Then, ask the class to write the correct definition from the PowerPoint presentation in their books.


Ask your pupils, in pairs, to create a spider diagram of ideas about why people migrate. Then, using the PowerPoint Slide 5 as a guide, encourage them to colour code their reasons into Economic, Social, Environmental and Political categories.

Focus on migration from Syria to Greece. Ask your pupils to say what they know already from news sources. Encourage your pupils to look at the pictures on Slide 7 and discuss the dangers of travelling across the Mediterranean in open boats.

Ask the class to work in groups of three. Give each group an envelope containing the benefits and problems cards. Allow time for your pupils to sort these cards into two categories: benefits or problems. Then, ask them to check their answers with Slide 9.

Use questions on Slide 10 to start a discussion on managing the migration issue.


As a homework task, ask your pupils to create two diary entries: one of a Greek child watching the boats arrive and one of a Syrian child arriving in Greece.

Encourage your pupils to see both perspectives.

Areas of Learning

Environment and Society