Activity Introduction

darrenQuick summary: Students watch and respond to the experiences of Darren. They read and interpret one of two media articles and analyse the effects that media has upon the formation of opinions by the general public. Students then consider the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the implications that it has upon the manner in which community leaders respond to the issues surrounding homelessness.

Key ideas to explore:

  • People who are in positions of authority inform the public narrative – this should be considered in light of public perceptions of homelessness.
  • A way that a person is represented may end up being the way that they see themselves.
  • Written and spoken language can have underlying meaning (connotations).
  • Homelessness is not usually a choice.

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

  • analysing how language choices are made for different purposes and in different contexts using appropriate metalanguage; for example, personification, voice-over, flashback, salience (ACEEN002)
  • analysing how vocabulary, idiom and rhetoric are used for different purposes and contexts (ACEEN006)
  • evaluating the impact of description and imagery, including figurative language, and still and moving images in digital and multimodal texts. (ACEEN007)
  • drawing on a range of technologies in, for example, research, communication and representation of ideas (ACEEN012)

Unit 2

  • 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)
  • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented, for example, how events are reported differently in the media (ACEEN029)
  • analysing the values and attitudes expressed in texts (ACEEN038)
  • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers (ACEEN040)

Year 12 English

Unit 3

  • analysing and evaluating how similar themes, ideas or concepts are treated in different texts.(ACEEN043)
  • considering how the conventions of genres can be challenged, manipulated or parodied (ACEEN045)
  • making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)
  • using strategies for planning, drafting, editing and proofreading (ACEEN055)

Unit 4

  • undertaking close analysis of texts (ACEEN060)
  • comparing the contexts in which texts are created and received. (ACEEN062)
  • analysing content, purpose and choice of language (ACEEN063)
  • exploring other interpretations and aspects of context to develop a considered response.(ACEEN065)
  • the ways points of view and values are represented (ACEEN067)
  • using nuanced language (ACEEN070)

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 2 x 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 websites/videos to the class and 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, influence, connotation, social justice, dehumanisation, community leadership.

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-alley-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students read, view and listen to public documents including newspaper reports and opinion pieces to examine and reflect on the intentions behind these. They explore media representations of homelessness and the effect that they have in shaping the public's response to 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 unsafe, unhealthy and very stressful.

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” - United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

1. After watching the clip that highlight’s Darren’s struggle with addiction, list five words that describe your reaction.

2. Watch Paul eating breakfast with Darren after treatment (start the clip at 4:12 and stop it at 6:05).

THE OASIS Part 4 (

To find out more about Darren, click here.

When Darren introduces himself, he calls himself a 'freak', which is an example of self-deprecation. Why do you think he does that? Do you agree with him? Explain your response in detail.

3. After watching Darren’s interview (start at 6:30) note one word that describes your reaction to Darren’s story.

THE OASIS Part 6 (

Find out more about Darren here.

What word did you use to describe your reaction t

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