Activity Introduction

Aspire-Thomas4-photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson is part of the Aspire Generation English Unit. Students are introduced to the nature of community service and volunteering and will understand that participating in each can help build 21st Century Skills. Students will view a TED talk and short video that introduce La Trobe University’s Aspire Program and Aspire Generation. They will then engage in collaborative thinking activities where they consider the merits of volunteerism and community service and communicate their understanding through class discussion. In doing so, students are encouraged to understand the many ways they can become involved, make a positive contribution to their community and develop personally.

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 have a better understanding of community service.
  • Students will understand how meaning is created meaning using images, text, spoken word, gesture, symbols.

21st Century Skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions
Year 9 English

  • 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)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for aesthetic and playful purposes (ACELY1741)

Year 10 English

  • 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)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to influence a course of action (ACELY1751)

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

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: By the end of Year 9, students 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. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other 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: By the end of 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.

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. Enough printed Hexagonal Thinking templates, scissors, glue and blank A4 sheets of paper for one between two students.  

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, online research.

Keywords:  Volunteerism, community service, Aspire Generation, communication, community, 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-Emily-girl2-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will develop a stronger understanding of volunteerism and community service and consider ways they can build their own capabilities to contribute to their community through such endeavours. They will find out about La Trobe University’s Aspire Program and Aspire Generation and understand that through volunteerism and community service they can become part of a community of young people who are doing good in their world. Students will also develop their understanding of how other people’s or groups’ efforts and achievements in these fields have had a positive impact in their communities in ways that inspire others to take action.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Do all superheroes wear capes?

1. Think about and list what comes to mind when you see or hear the the phrase ‘community service’ or ‘volunteering’.

What comes to mind when you hear or see the phrase 'community service'?
What comes to mind when you hear or see the phrase 'volunteering'?

2. Use the space below to document any key notes, thoughts or ideas you find interesting or inspiring from the Orange Sky Laundry TED talk. 

ORANGE SKY LAUNDRY: Points of Interest



Consider how you would now define community service and volunteering. Write a short definition (30 words or less) in the space provided below:

What comes to mind NOW when you hear or see the phrase 'community service'?
What comes to mind NOW when you hear or see the phrase 'volunteering'?


Complete the Colour, Symbol and Image chart to illustrate and represent your understanding of ‘Volunteering and Community Se

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