Teaching Resources

There are many ways that teachers of children of all ages as well as facilitators of adult learning can use Rest in My Shade as a teaching resource. The book can be integrated into discussions about migration, refugees, displacement, environment, nature, world art, world poetry and other subjects.

For example, very young children may discuss how the tree felt about moving from the place she considered home. They can talk about a time when they moved and how they felt, and what helped them to settle in to their new place. This can be connected to local, national and global migration. Children of all ages are old enough to think about what it means to be a good host to someone who has moved, perhaps involuntarily.

Older students may want to study the phenomenon of deforestation and its effect on the climate. They may spend time under a tree and write creatively about deforestation from the perspective of a tree. They can also research the cultural meaning of trees in different cultures. They may consider the relationship of nature to human health and survival.

High schoolers may wish to learn about Palestinian history and culture including the symbolism of the olive tree, the relationship Palestinians have with land, and how displacement is expressed in the art and poetry of Palestinians.

Adults of all ages — in faith or interfaith groups, in library discussions, or involved in social action — may wish to read the book as the cultural component of public events, as the basis of discussion about the Palestinian Nakba, and in relation to laws and policy about immigration, asylum, deportation, past and modern day slavery, colonialism and indigenous rights, and more.

Please contact us for suggestions about how Rest in My Shade can be integrated into your educational or social justice work. You may also find some ideas in the syllabi and teaching resources listed below. If you are aware of other excellent resources, please let us know so that we can add them to our list.


The Choices Program at Brown University

http://www.choices.edu/teaching-news-lesson/immigration-timeline/ (other units for purchase)

Catalyst Project: Immigration Justice Curriculum


Merseyside Maritime Museum Info Sheets on “Emigration” (from the UK)


Undocumented People

Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Incarceration & Separation and Keep Families Together



Refugee Week 2019 Teaching Resources


Migration Policy Institute


Forced migration toolkit KS 3 and 4


Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services


National Education Union — including curricula, films, books (UK focused)


UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency


NY Times Series on Climate and Displacement




Episcopal Migration Ministries


Palestinian History

FAQ from BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights


Al Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition’s Fact Sheet


Facing the Nakba, an Educational Project of Jewish Voice for Peace


Teach Palestine, with curricular materials curated by Middle East Children’s Association (MECA)


Zochrot’s Educational Materials (in Hebrew, Arabic and English)


Indigenous Resources

National Film Board’s excellent collection of short films by/about indigenous experiences including many aspects of displacement


Curated Teacher Resources

Bringing the World to Your Classroom (free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans with linked content on all subjects)


Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility


Note: Talking about traumatic events can be upsetting for some people. If there are people in your discussion group who are refugees, undocumented people or people who have experienced violence in their old or new place of residence,  consider in advance how to incorporate them into your discussion as experts of their own experience without triggering them or anyone else. Provide emotional support whenever necessary. A good resource for educators to help protect undocumented children and families is at: https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/im_uac-educators-guide_2016.pdf.