Teaching about immigration using the move “The Good Lie”

Lesson plan

Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker. Wikepedia

The Good Lie is a movie about a group of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in Americathe-good-lie-1 arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives. Nearly 70,000 refugees were resettled across the United States in 2014, many arriving with little more than they could carry. Often, America is thought of solely as a land of opportunity. We overlook hardships that new arrivals to the U.S. may have experienced, focusing instead on the assumed potential before them. America is and has been a safe haven for many people, but in arriving on these shores, they leave behind a life and a home. Many immigrants enter illegally and are treated badly. In the USA there has been much concern about the treatment of the children who were separated from their parents.

Before watching


Read these articles from Denmark (article 2) and discuss the incident related to the questions below. Write a short answer and share it here

  • Is it ever okay to break the law to do the right thing? If so, how do you determine when that might be okay?
  • What laws or policies do you think are hindering the doing of good in our world today?
  • Is it ever, and if so, at what point is it, appropriate to break those laws?
  • How might you work to overturn those laws?


  1. the-good-lieRead the text below and find out what the situation is in South Sudan today. Discuss it with your partner and share your findings here:

“Following the war portrayed in The Good Lie, South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, a major milestone promising peace to a new generation. However, in December of 2013, a power struggle within the ruling party turned into a brutal armed conflict that continues today – and civilians are paying the highest price as the ones often targeted by violence. Despite agreements from the heads of the warring parties to “end the conflict,” the leaders continue to exploit ethnic differences to fight the civil war. Nearly 1.7 million men, women, and children have been forced to flee their homes as South Sudan continues its slide towards what could be one of the worst man-made famines the world has seen in decades.”

After watching the movie


  1. Use these Immigration Discussion Cards in groups of 3.

In pairs answer these topics and share your answers here on this Padlet:

  1. Theo’s Sacrifice Forefathers –
  2. Brotherhood
  3. It Was My Fault
  4. Jeremiah’s Integrity
  5. The Ultimate Good Lie

The current status in the USA

Read the quote from the Independent below, and look at the video found here.

Do not misbehave. Do not sit on the floor. Do not share your food. Do not use nicknames. Also, it is best not to cry. Doing so might hurt your case.

Lights out by 9pm and lights on at dawn, after which you make your bed according to the step-by-step instructions posted on the wall. Wash and mop the bathroom, scrubbing the sinks and toilets. Then it is time to form a line for the walk to breakfast.

“You had to get in line for everything,” recalled Leticia, a girl from Guatemala.

Write Blogpost

  1.  Discuss the challenges of living in a foreign culture. Include points from your discussions.

Source: Text and questions found here. 



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