Activity Introduction

chris asleepQuick summary: Students explore the different types of homelessness in a word match game, then explore some of the ways news media portray youth homelessness by looking at and comparing a range of media articles covering the issue of homelessness. A Media Watch episode is used to guide students’ exploration of editorial positions adopted in media content and the effect that they can have on the public’s view of an issue. Students are asked to consider how the media uses existing stereotypes to reinforce their editorial stance, and the effect that these articles have on the public’s view of the issue of homelessness.

Key ideas to explore:

  • The ways that different individuals, groups and organisations in society respond to and portray youth homelessness.
  • The role of stereotypes in the creation of particular cultural perspectives.
  • Whether students are empathetic in their own responses to stories of youth homelessness.

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)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse texts, comparing and evaluating representations of an event, issue, situation or character in different texts (ACELY1744)
  • 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

  • analysing how language choices are made for different purposes and in different contexts using appropriate metalanguage; for example, personification, voice-over, flashback, salience (ACEEN002)
  • evaluating the impact of description and imagery, including figurative language, and still and moving images in digital and multimodal texts (ACEEN007)
  • purpose, taking into account that a text’s purpose is often open to debate (ACEEN008)
  • personal, social and cultural context (ACEEN009)
  • using evidence-based argument (ACEEN014)
  • investigating the impact and uses of imaginative, interpretive and persuasive texts (ACEEN020)

Unit 2

  • 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)
  • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices, for example, emphasis, emotive language and imagery in the construction of argument (ACEEN025)
  • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented, for example, how events are reported differently in the media (ACEEN029)
  • using imaginative, interpretive and persuasive elements for different purposes, contexts and audiences (ACEEN032)
  • 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)
  • analysing the techniques and conventions used in different genres, mediums and modes (ACEEN044)
  • the ways language patterns can create shades of meaning (ACEEN047)
  • making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)

Unit 4

  • comparing the contexts in which texts are created and received (ACEEN062)
  • analysing content, purpose and choice of language (ACEEN063)
  • analysing the use of voice and point of view such as in feature articles, reporting of current events or narration (ACEEN064)
  • 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)

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 and access to THE OASIS documentary on Vimeo. Different types of homelessness – matching game, Different types of homelessness factsheetSticky-notes, A5 paper and Blu-Tack.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: House, home, homelessness, youth, THE OASIS, connotation, perspective media, bias.

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

owen in alleyTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students identify some of the ways different individuals, groups and organisations in society respond to and portray youth homelessness. They understand the role of stereotypes in creating particular cultural perspectives and reflect on whether they are empathetic in their own responses to stories of youth homelessness.

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 as rent. Being homeless is

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper" - George Orwell

1. Watch this section of Media Watch (episode 15, 11/5/2015 found at that analyses the media’s reaction to the promotion and broadcasting of the Struggle Street documentary. Discuss the contention of the story. If you choose to, take notes before your discussion:

How did the different media outlets interpret the promotion of the television show Struggle Street?

What did some of the reports do to reinforce the negative view of the residents of Mt Druitt?

What was the actual view of the reality television show Struggle Street?

How did the Media Watch story show the audience this?

What does the presenter mean when he says, 'the moral panic may be a little hypocritical …'?

Watch the opening sequence from THE OASIS (stop at 2:10).

THE OASIS - Part 1 (

2. Working in groups

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