Activity Introduction

chris phones mumQuick summary: Students view and analyse the experiences of two separate characters from THE OASIS. In a creative writing exercise, students create diary entries from the perspective of Chris or Haley to explore how social and cultural contexts shape a person’s identity, and collaborate to construct a linear narrative that compares and contrasts the effect of place on identity on each individual.

Key ideas to explore:

  • Particular social and cultural contexts shape an individual’s personal identity.
  • Specific social and cultural values and attitudes influence individuals.
  • Adults, specific events and circumstances can influence young people and whether they generate a sense of personal hope in their lives.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Learning area: English

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English

  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)
  • Explore and explain the combinations of language and visual choices that authors make to present information, opinions and perspectives in different texts (ACELY1745)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)
  • Create imaginative texts that make relevant thematic and intertextual connections with other texts (ACELT1644)
  • Create literary texts with a sustained ‘voice’, selecting and adapting appropriate text structures, literary devices, language, auditory and visual structures and features for a specific purpose and intended audience (ACELT1815)
  • Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (ACELY1757)

Year 11 English

Unit 1

  • explaining the ways language features, text structures and conventions communicate ideas and points of view (ACEEN004)
  • evaluating the impact of description and imagery, including figurative language, and still and moving images in digital and multimodal texts. (ACEEN007)
  • using appropriate form, content, style and tone for different purposes and audiences in real and imagined contexts (ACEEN011)

Unit 2

  • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences (ACEEN024)
  • experimenting with text structures, language features and multimodal devices (ACEEN033)
  • developing and sustaining voice, tone and style (ACEEN034)

Year 12 English 

Unit 3

  • analysing language, structural and stylistic choices (ACEEN041)
  • making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)
  • using and experimenting with text structures and language features related to specific genres for particular effects (ACEEN052)

Unit 4

  • undertaking close analysis of texts (ACEEN060)
  • analysing content, purpose and choice of language (ACEEN063)
  • exploring other interpretations and aspects of context to develop a considered response (ACEEN065)
  • using appropriate language and stylistic features to sustain a personal voice and point of view (ACEEN069)
  • using nuanced language (ACEEN070)
  • using strategies for planning, drafting, editing and proofreading (ACEEN074)

Syllabus OutcomesEN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-3B, EN5-5C.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Literacy.

Topic: THE OASIS, Social Issues

Unit of work: THE OASIS – English

Time required: 90 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Access to THE OASIS documentary on Vimeo

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: House, home, homelessness, youth, THE OASIS, place, identity.

Acknowledgement: This resource has been adapted from ‘Teaching Social Issues Through English’ developed with the English Teachers Association NSW and the ‘Youth Homelessness Matters Resource’ developed by Janice Atkin. You can find these resources here.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

The-Oasis-Hayley-and-Paul-260x300 copyTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students reflect on how particular social and cultural contexts shape identity. Students examine how specific social and cultural values and attitudes influence individuals. Students reflect on the ways adults, specific events and circumstances influence young people and whether they generate a sense of personal hope in the young people’s lives.

Teacher content information: This lesson is based on THE OASIS documentary, which raises awareness of youth homelessness, celebrates the resilience of young people who are experiencing homelessness in Australia and empowers the next generation of young people to take action to prevent youth homelessness in the future.

Young people often become homeless because of family breakdown, often stemming from parental conflicts or a collapse of their relationship with a husband/wife or partner. Some young people who are living independently become homeless because they can’t afford living expenses such a

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid” - Lois Lowry

1. First, pair up and conduct a rapid interview with a classmate to find out what elements of a place create a person’s identity. You could use these questions to get you started:

What role do you identify with at the moment - who are you right now? For example: son/daughter, student, friend ... think creatively about the roles in life that you fulfill.

What makes you identify as those roles?

What are you wearing that creates your sense of who you are?

Name 10 things in your surrounding environment that create your identity.

What are the things that you experience in the place that you are - what do you see/hear/feel that influence the way that you see yourself as fulfilling the role/s you've identified?

For example, a person may identify as a student because they’re wearing a uniform, they're in a school building, they can see a teacher, they have other students aroun

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