Activity Introduction

emma and destinyQuick summary: Students critically assess their understanding of the concept of ‘home’ by finding an image that represents their idea of home, and justify how and why their chosen image represents their ideas. Students then watch a section of THE OASIS that features Emma and Trent’s experiences, and use the See, Hear, Feel thinking tool to respond to the clip. In groups, students are asked to compare and contrast the concepts and ideas surrounding the concepts of ‘house’, ‘home’ and ‘shelter’ and perform a critical analysis of the concepts of ‘house’ and ‘home’. The class is encouraged to collaborate to form a list of terms that reflect the shared ideas. To reflect, students create a presentation that summarises their view of Emma and Trent’s situation, and whether they could be considered homeless.

Key ideas to explore:

  • Youth homelessness is often invisible.
  • There are differences between being houseless and homeless.

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)

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)
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)

Year 11 English

Unit 1

  • explaining the ways text structures, language features and stylistic choices are used in different types of texts (ACEEN005)
  • analysing how vocabulary, idiom and rhetoric are used for different purposes and contexts (ACEEN006)
  • the use of imaginative, persuasive and interpretive techniques (ACEEN010)
  • combining visual, spoken and written elements where appropriate (ACEEN013)
  • using evidence-based argument (ACEEN014)

Unit 2

  • explaining the relationship between purpose and context (ACEEN021)
  • analysing the style and structure of texts including digital texts (ACEEN022)
  • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences (ACEEN024)
  • analysing how attitude and mood are created, for example, through the use of humour in satire and parody. (ACEEN027)
  • the impact of language and structural choices on shaping own and others’ perspectives (ACEEN028)
  • selecting and applying appropriate textual evidence to support arguments (ACEEN035)

Year 12 English

Unit 3

  • analysing and evaluating how similar themes, ideas or concepts are treated in different texts.(ACEEN043)
  • the ways language patterns can create shades of meaning (ACEEN047)
  • making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)
  • sustaining analysis and argument (ACEEN053)

Unit 4

  • undertaking close analysis of texts (ACEEN060)
  • the ways points of view and values are represented (ACEEN067)
  • using appropriate language and stylistic features to sustain a personal voice and point of view(ACEEN069)
  • synthesising ideas and opinions to develop complex argument (ACEEN071)
  • substantiating and justifying their own responses using textual evidence (ACEEN072)

Syllabus OutcomesEN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-8D.

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

Topic: THE OASIS, Social Issues

Unit of work: THE OASIS- English

Time required: 120 minutes (or 2x 60 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. Butcher’s paper, ‘AGREE’ and ‘DISAGREE’ signs, string or masking tape. 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

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

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

emma at oasisTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students develop skills in the analysis of texts, including documentary texts. Students read, view and listen to public documents examining and reflecting the intentions behind these texts. They explore representations of the relationship between homelessness and the failure of family relationships through an exploration of the documentary THE OASIS.

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 s

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you” - Robert Frost

1. What does the word 'home' mean to you?

Find an image online that shows your idea of 'home', then describe:

WHAT the image shows, HOW it represents home to you and WHY that image is representative of your idea of home.

WHAT does the image show?

HOW does it represent home to you?

WHY is it your idea of home?

Once completed, turn to a classmate and compare what you have described. Work together to listen to each other’s ideas and discuss whether the image and its personal meaning includes meaning connected to 'houses' or 'homes' or both.

2. Watch this section of THE OASIS featuring Emma and Trent:

THE OASIS - Emma and Trent (

Observe what you SEE, HEAR and FEEL at each point that the clip is paused.

Time clip is paused: What do you SEE? What do you HEAR? What do you FEEL?
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