1. Divide students into small groups and have them mark the migration journey of the Lost Boys.
Make sure each group has one set of outline maps of Sudan, Africa, the world, and the United States. Ask groups to mark the routes the Lost Boys took. List each route on the board:

  • Dinka homelands in southern Sudan to refugee camps in western Ethiopia
  • refugee camps in western Ethiopia, across the border into Sudan, and to Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya
  • Kakuma, Kenya to Nairobi, Kenya
  • Nairobi, Kenya to Brussels, Belgium
  • Brussels, Belgium to New York City


2. Introduce the vocabulary word diaspora and have students add routes to their maps.
Explain to students that the vocabulary word diaspora refers to the migration of a people away from an established homeland, or the displacement of a people. Tell students that the Lost Boys have settled in eighteen states in the United States, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Have students add routes from New York City to those states.


3. In small groups, have students use the MapMaker Interactive to create geo-tours of the Lost Boys' journey.
Have small groups load the MapMaker Interactive. First, have students save a map for their group to work on. Then, ask students to construct a geo-tour of the different segments of the Lost Boys' journey using bookmarks, labels, drawing tools, and markers.


4. Discuss the hazards and physical challenges of the routes.

Have a whole-class discussion about the hazards and physical challenges of the routes, including drought, wildlife, and food sources.


5. Have students make predications about the challenges of displacement.
Discuss the challenges of displacement, including retaining culture, traditions, language, and other factors that are tied to a people's homeland.

Extending the Learning

Find out if there are any Lost Boys in your community or region. If there are, ask if any would be willing to visit your school and speak with students. If not, contact one of the Lost Boys’ groups with active websites and establish a pen-pal correspondence between them and your students.

Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • map the routes the Lost Boys took on their migration journey from Sudan to the United States
  • map the routes the Lost Boys took within the United States
  • define the vocabulary term diaspora
  • describe the challenges of displaced peoples

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Discussions
  • Hands-on learning

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards

National Geography Standards

  • Standard 1:  How to use maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technologies, and spatial thinking to understand and communicate information
  • Standard 9:  The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Colored pencils
  • Pencils
  • Pens

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Required
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Small-group instruction

In Practice

Find resources that show best teaching practices and example student outcomes for this activity.

Picture of Practice

Background Information

The Lost Boys of Sudan are a group of youth who fled civil war in their native Sudan, spent a decade growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp, and were eventually resettled in the United States.

Prior Knowledge

  • The Lost Boys of Sudan



community of people scattered from their homeland.


to remove or force to evacuate.

human migration

the movement of people from one place to another.