Unit: Karen Toavs_The Power of Homelands- An Introduction to Diaspora Literature

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Unit Description

This is a 5 day unit introducing students to the global issue of human displacement. Diaspora literature is a genre by and about the struggles of displaced populations.


No lessons for this unit.

Unit Resources

The Power of Homelands (Toavs).docx  
The Power of Homelands (Toavs).pdf  
Toavs- lesson on Diaspora Literature.docx  


Deborah Cunningham Posted 4 years ago:


This is an impressively researched and thoughtfully sequenced curriculum!  You do a great job of using different tools (such as the pinwheels) to prepare students for grasping the full meanings of “home” and “homeland” before considering what the loss of a home or homeland entails – these are powerful ways to generate empathy and deeper understanding of the significance of displacement for those in diaspora. 

You use wonderful tools to give students strong images of the prevalence of displacement (Worldmapper) and powerful story selections to prompt thinking about others’ perspectives.  Looking at your “Text Critic Outline” activity for Day 4 – essentially, an exploration of worldviews of the displaced – prompted the question of where you will send students who wish to know more about the context of the country, time, or conflict that caused them to be displaced.  Would working with the social studies teacher help here?  Later, I saw that you have located rich resources (“Building Connections”) that suggest websites for deeper exploration.  The UN website and reports on children (they publish one each year and displacement is the theme some years) are great resources for students who want to approach the topic analytically.  

Altogether this is a stunning curriculum that shows tremendous thought and creativity.  The beautifully constructed handouts make it easy for other teachers to use, and hopefully many will! With such an organized, well-resourced curriculum, students will discover much to provoke their thinking and reflection about the lives of others around the globe.

--Primary Source staff



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