STEREOTYPES - Address the assumptions, labels and stereotypes often aimed at refugees and migrants or other groups. Discuss the personal impacts this has on people and the societal impacts it can have on groups.



Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ethnicity- belonging to an ethnic group;   a social group that shares a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like

Discrimination -  the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.
Stereotype -  An often incorrect assumption made about all of the members of a particular group.
Racism - the belief that some races of people are better than others and the poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race.
Xenophobia -   fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners

Prejudice - an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc


Common Misconceptions about Refugees


  1. Listen to and identify common stereotypes

  2. Respond to predictions made in the past that have been proven to be false

  3. Listen to common misconceptions experienced by migrants  


3rd/4th Class

SPHE > Myself > Self-identity > Self-awareness

  • Recognise, describe and discuss individual personality traits, qualities, strengths, limitations, interests and abilities

  • Explore the factors that influence his/her self-image

  • Realise that each person has a unique contribution to make to various groups, situations and friendships


5th/6th Classs

SPHE > Myself > Self-identity> Self-awareness

  • Recognise and appreciate that each person is a unique individual and that this individuality is expressed in many different ways

  • Reflect on his/her experiences and the reasons for taking different courses of action

  • Identify realistic personal goals and targets and the strategies required to reach these

  • Accept his/her own body image and explore some of the factors that affect his/her self-image and beliefs about himself/herself  




Show the children the video of Desmond or Jamalida. Discuss what stereotypes people might make about them. 

Discussion Points:

How do you know if you are stereotyping? How do stereotypes impact individuals? Why might stereotypes be used on refugees and migrants? (remind students of the learning from identity and the desire/purpose to 'other' individuals). What stereotypes do people make about you?  Example: Girls are not as good at maths as boys

Write on the board the definition of a stereotype

Stereotype - it allows your brain to make a snap judgment based on immediately visible characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, or age. Stereotypes are usually based on prejudice rather than on fact. People use stereotypes to judge and separate others by group. People come to see their own group as "we" and others as "they." Stereotyping can lead to teasing and discriminatory behaviour by one person or group toward another.


A brief description of stereotyping includes:  common stereotypes are based on what you look like, where you come from, what language you speak, your accent, how you dress, your gender, your religion.  Stereotyping often leads to denying people rights because of the group they belong to by believing that one's own group is superior; other groups are inferior.

Ways to reduce stereotyping include: putting oneself in another's shoes and considering their view, using accurate information and not assumptions, being aware when you are stereotyping someone and question yourself as to why.


Using the whiteboard discuss with children the different terms that they have encountered over the course of the past four workshops (e.g. refugee, migrant, asylum seeker). Ask them to write one term on a post-it note along with a word they have heard associated as a stereotype with that specific term/description.  Gather the post-it notes and discuss the reasons why those stereotypes might exist and why they maybe hurtful, wrong or damaging. 

*Be mindful of children in the classroom from other cultures or backgrounds. Ask them if they have experience of myths or stereotyping that may have been hurtful, funny or wrong.  

Tip: Be mindful of the fact that some children may express opinions that they have heard elsewhere, particularly from home. The aim of the activity is to challenge children’s opinions and encourage them to see migrants and refugees in a positive light. 

Common stereotypes include:

REFUGEES ARE TERRORISTS - Refugees are not terrorists they are people who fled terrorists.

REFUGEES GET MORE MONEY FROM THE STATE THAN IRISH PEOPLE - Wrong. Everybody is checked to see what they will receive for benefits based on the welfare guidelines. Refugees do not get more assistance than Irish people and vice versa. Everyone has to meet the same qualifications and expected to follow the participation requirements to receive their benefits.

MIGRANTS DON’T WANT TO LEARN ENGLISH - Wrong. The vast majority of people who have come to this country want to learn English. They know it’s essential to learn our language to survive in this country. Also it is hard to learn a new language but they need to if they want to make friends, understand people and also to have a job.

ASYLUM SEEKERS ARE A BURDEN ON IRELAND WE CANT AFFORD TO HAVE THEM COME - No one chose to be a refugee needing to seek asylum. The world signed up to a promise (1951 Refugee Convention) to protect people from war, conflict, or harm because of who you are.  Some Refugees have suffered catastrophic events and torture in their life that has forced them to give up everything. Irish people have the same protection offered to them. 



Ask children to write down a common misconception/myth or stereotype about themselves and record how it makes them feel. 


In support of the campaign, children tweet, post or display a pictures of.


Refugees are not terrorists. They are the people who fled terrorists.


Share with the children the poster on Convention of the Rights of the Child. Ask them to determine which rights are significant to the topic they have been discussing. 

Article 3 (Best interests) All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

Article 4 (Protection of rights) The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights are protected. They must help your family protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow learn and reach your potential. 

Article 6 (Survival) You have the right to be alive. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.

Article 7 (Nationality) You have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country). You also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by your parents.


Article 10 (Family reunification): If you live in a different country than your parents you have the right to be together in the same place. 

Article 22 (Refugee children): You have the right to special protection and help if you are refugees (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in the Convention.

Article 29 (Goals of education): Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities to the fullest. It should also help you to respect others, human rights and you own and other cultures. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. 

Article 30 (Children of minorities/indigenous groups): Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion. The right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion applies to everyone; the Convention here highlights this right in instances where the practices are not shared by the majority of people in the country.


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