Providing students with high quality background information for Boy Overboard can be a little bit of a challenge. Many resources are older and out of date and many links are sadly broken. Here, I’ve collected a range of free resources to assist you in providing background information for Boy Overboard and teaching the novel more effectively to your students.
(While all efforts are made to make sure these links are accurate - the nature of the web means they may be ‘broken’. Sometimes searching will help you access the material, but - sadly - some information may be taken from the web permanently)
To access this resource, you need a login (which is quick and easy to get). This one page primary resource introduces students to a range of concepts, vocabulary terms and ideas around refugees. The page also includes teaching ideas.
This would be good to use before students read Boy Overboard or right after. It would also be a useful resource if students were researching refugees.
This BTN video provides background information on refugees in a range of situations and provides images for students to put with the story. BTN has broadcast a wide range of stories on refugees over the years and many are available. This story, like many of the others, also includes teacher notes and further links for students to explore.
This teaching resource from the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) offers a range of teaching ideas and lesson ideas about refugees. One of the most useful resources is the teacher’s guide to integrating teaching about refugees and asylum into a range of classroom subjects.
This is a complete lesson plan on Afghanistan and its history, based around resources from news organisations. The lesson plan may be a little complex for your students, but there are a range of teacher questions and activities and some good news links (though some links are no longer available)
The Royal Geographical Society page is good for some background information on Afghanistan. Some of the links are broken, but the documents at the bottom provide a timeline and a number of fact sheets with extra information about Afghanistan.
On the Pacific Solution
These two pages are aimed at an older audience, but provide background information to The Pacific Solution and arguments around it. These would be good for teachers to use when preparing discussions or further reading information for students.
On Boy Overboard
This is a thoughtful reflection on why Morris Gleitzman wrote Boy Overboard and would be especially good to read while considering author intention. Students should wait until they have finished reading the book to read this.
This Galarious Goods free resource allows teachers and students to take a closer look at several aspects of Boy Overboard. This is a great resource if you have limited time to explore the novel or you are just looking for a few supplementary resources