Activity Introduction

Aspire-Thomas2-photoframeQuick summary: This lesson is part of the Aspire Generation English Unit. Students will work collaboratively to decide upon a local community issue or challenge that they would like to address. They will consider insights and information they have collected during previous lessons in this unit then work in groups to extend their work and develop a deeper joint understanding about their chosen issue or challenge. Students will then be guided to brainstorm ideas in their groups for how they can address the issue or challenge, then choose the action, volunteering role or community service they will carry out, and develop a plan to deliver it.

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 intentions: 

  • Students will understand the value of planning and collaborating on projects that require cohesive, creative and critical thinking to achieve success.
  • Students will develop their organisational, critical and creative thinking skills and apply these to project designs.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions
Year 9 English

Dependent upon unique project planning and drafting, but include:

  • 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)
  • Use interaction skills to present and discuss an idea and to influence and engage an audience by selecting persuasive language, varying voice tone, pitch, and pace, and using elements such as music and sound effects (ACELY1811)

Year 10 English

Dependent upon unique project planning and drafting, but includes:

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
  • Use organisation patterns, voice and language conventions to present a point of view on a subject, speaking clearly, coherently and with effect, using logic, imagery and rhetorical devices to engage audiences (ACELY1813)

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative ThinkingICT Capability

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 Cultures

Relevant parts of Australian Curriculum English Achievement Standards: 
Year 9:  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. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues. 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: 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 develop their own style by experimenting with language features, stylistic devices, text structures and images. Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, building on others’ ideas, solving problems, justifying opinions and developing and expanding 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: 150 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. “How Might We…?” questions Factsheet, Conducting Secondary Research Factsheet, Brainstorm Rules Display, Project Planning Tool.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, online research.

Keywords: Aspire Generation, communication, public speaking, local community, design thinking, project design and planning, citizenship.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Aspire-Thomas-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will develop their understanding and appreciation of planning and design strategies through collaborative work with their peers. They will enhance their understanding of good teamwork and build on their communication, critical and creative thinking skills. By brainstorming and working through planning stages of project design and implementation, students will also learn the importance of organisation and applying their critical and creative thinking skills in meaningful ways. Students will develop self-confidence and learn that they are capable of working in ways that can contribute in a positive way to their community.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What am I capable of doing to make a positive difference in my community?

1. Consider the local community issues and challenges that you and your peers have been investigating in previous lessons. Your teacher will help you form project groups of 3 - 5 people. List your group members in the space below:

2. Note the issue that your groups has chosen to address here: 

3. Read through the "How Might We...?" questions Factsheet and with your group, discuss and draft some HMW questions with your group. When you decide on the question you are going to tackle together, note it here.

How might we...  

4. Open the Conducting Secondary Research Factsheet. This provides some prompts for you to carry out further research or investigation based on your group's needs. You might decide, as a group, to divide further research responsibilities.

Take the opportunity to conduct some more targeted research about the issue or challenge, especially with the community or stakehol

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