Activity Introduction

Aspire-Emily-photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson is part of the Aspire Generation English Unit. Students consider what issues face their local community or region. They will work in pairs to read, watch and analyse news media texts to identify sub-issues, perspectives, challenges and the impact of the issue on local people. Students then prepare a brief presentation for the class in which they share their findings, offer their insights and possible ways to address the issues examined.  

Latrobe Logo 150This lesson supports La Trobe University’s Aspire Generation initiative, which empowers students to drive change through community engagement, volunteerism and leadership opportunities.

Learning Intention: 

  • Students will understand that media texts use different techniques to communicate perspectives about community issues.
  • Students will develop their analytical skills to evaluate the representation of a local community issue in different media texts.

21st Century Skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions
Year 9 English

  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse texts, comparing and evaluating representations of an event, issue, situation or character in different texts (ACELY1744)

Year 10 English

  • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)

General Capabilities:  Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priorities: There are opportunities for students to engage with any of the cross-curriculum priorities across the scope of this unit. Direct or specific engagement with any of these can be made based on the unique attributes of the local community Sustainability, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture

Relevant parts of Australian Curriculum English Achievement Standards: 
Year 9: By the end of Year 9, students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They select evidence from texts to analyse and explain how language choices and conventions are used to influence an audience. Students understand how to use a variety of language features to create different levels of meaning. They understand how interpretations can vary by comparing their responses to texts to the responses of others. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They edit for effect, selecting vocabulary and grammar that contribute to the precision and persuasiveness of texts and using accurate spelling and punctuation.

Year 10: By the end of Year 10, students evaluate how text structures can be used in innovative ways by different authors. They explain how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary contributes to the development of individual style. They develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They evaluate other interpretations, analysing the evidence used to support them. They listen for ways features within texts can be manipulated to achieve particular effects. Students show how the selection of language features can achieve precision and stylistic effect. They explain different viewpoints, attitudes and perspectives through the development of cohesive and logical arguments. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, vary vocabulary choices for impact, and accurately use spelling and punctuation when creating and editing texts.

Topic: Enterprise Learning, Social Issues.

Unit of work: La Trobe University – Aspire Generation – English

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Internet access. Optional: a selection of recent news media articles about local community issues (such as newspapers, television clips, online).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, online research.

Keywords:  Aspire Generation, communication, local community, citizenship, issues, media, representation.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand that local communities face a diverse range of issues and challenges both in the present and for the future. They will develop their skills in identifying and analysing how different news media texts use techniques to communicate perspectives about these issues to their audiences. They will develop their collaborative working and thinking skills to learn how local community issues have sub-issues, as well as a range of stakeholders and perspectives that can influence decisions and outcomes.

Teacher content information

La Trobe University’s Aspire Generation connects a community of young people who aspire to make a difference through community service and leadership. They are the givers, the dreamers, the doers and the leaders who passionately pursue opportunities to address the big issues of their time. They think boldly and act responsibly and strive to leave a lasting impact on the world.

This inquiry-based l

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What are the issues that affect me now and in the future?

1. Consider some of the issues facing your local community or region, and complete the think, pair, share activity below.


What comes to mind when I think about local community issues?


What can I add after discussing my ideas with a partner?


What will we share with the class?

2. Find a news media article (print, internet, or television recording) and analyse the issue being represented. The following prompts will help you identify important aspects of the article and issue. After analysing the media text and issue, you will be invited to share your findings with the class and participate in a discussion about the issue.

What is the issue being examined or reported on?
Is this an short term or long term issue?
Who is a stakeholder (who has a special interest) in the issue and what is their perspective?
Who does this issue affe
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