The Little  Refugee

Free lesson plan, writing template and printable word-search puzzles for kids

the little refugee

Best suited to:

K – Year 6

KLAs covered:

English (narratives, biography), geography, history


  • why and how do people come to Australia to live?
  • what is a refugee?
  • what problems do people face when they come to Australia as refugees?
  • Australians come from diverse backgrounds;
  • life in Vietnam in the 1970s;
  • visual literacy: how does the illustrator create images that make us feel scared, happy, etc?

Need to know:

  • this is the true story of how Anh Do and his parents and brother came to Australia as refugees in the 1970s; 
  • Anh Do is an Australian artist, author, actor and comedian who lives in Sydney with his wife and three sons;
  • a good book to use for a visual literacy lesson;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • what do you see, think and wonder when you look at the cover of the book?
  • the authors of this book are Anh Do and his wife, Suzanne. What do you know about Anh Do?
  • what do you think this book might be about?

Discussion Questions (after reading):

  • how do you think Anh felt when he was at home playing with his cousins?
  • how do you think he felt on the boat?
  • how do you think he felt when he started school?
  • how do you think he felt when he and Angus became friends?
  • books make us feel different ways: happy, sad, worried, scared. How did you feel when we were reading this book? What happened in the story to make you feel that way?
  • do you notice anything about the illustrations in the book? (you may need to slowly go through the pages again);
  • do the illustrations change as we go through the story? (they are initially black and white and sepia and change to colour when the family arrives in Australia). Why do you think the illustrator chose to do this?
  • what kind of person do you think Anh is? What happens in the story to make you think this? (record responses on the whiteboard);


Years K – 2

  • children write about their favourite part of the story and illustrate;
  • children write about how they felt when listening to the story and illustrate their work. What part of the story made them feel that way?  Why?
  • children re-tell the story using words and/or drawings;
  • children draw a picture of Anh and describe him, using the words on the whiteboard to help them. Remind children to describe his character as well as his appearance;

Years 3 – 6

  • children complete a character analysis of Anh;
  • children write about how they felt when listening to the story and illustrate their work. What part of the story made them feel that way? Why?

Years 4 – 6

This is a good activity to do if your class has access to computers for research:

  • teach or revise the main features of a biography, including headings, introduction, etc;
  • children use the internet to research information about Anh Doh;
  • children take notes (I suggest using a graphic organiser);
  • children write a biography using their notes;

Websites for Research:

Your free, printable word-search puzzles and writing template

These free, printable word-search puzzles for kids are great for building and reinforcing the vocabulary used when discussing The Little Refugee. They’re especially helpful for EAL/D students.

There are three different puzzles in this file to enable you to differentiate the activity according to the learning needs of your students.

Download and print our free writing template for use with the picture book The Little Refugee here (PDF).

a flamboyance of flamingos
my name is not refugee
bee & me
lest we forget
the peace book