Activity Introduction

Quick summary: We have a complex relationship with our mobile phones that is more than screen deep. Mobile phone use and the impact it has had upon society is a contemporary social issue with far-reaching effects on our community’s safety, health and wellbeing. In this lesson, students will prepare for and participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss It’s People Like Us and whether the documentary convinces its audience of its message. The class will work together to create an assessment rubric which students will use to self-assess after the seminar. Students will conference with a peer to clarify their achievement standard, then expand on their self-assessment by responding to a set of reflection question.

 

It’s People Like Us is a documentary film created as part of the Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) Towards Zero road safety strategy. It explores society’s relationship with mobile phones – especially the use of them while driving – and the responsibility that we all have to keep ourselves and each other safe on the roads.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how documentary film uses rhetorical devices to persuade.
  • Students understand the impact of mobile phones on society.
  • Students are able to listen and contribute during a structured discussion.
  • Students are able to conduct a self-assessment.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English

  • Interrogating and making judgments about a text, comparing others’ ideas against the student’s own and reaching an independent decision or shared consensus about the interpretations and ideas expressed (ACELT1771)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and explore the purposes and effects of different text structures and language features of spoken texts, and use this knowledge to create purposeful texts that inform, persuade and engage (ACELY1750)

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students explain different viewpoints, attitudes and perspectives through the development of cohesive and logical arguments.

General capabilities: Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy. 

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of work: It’s People Like Us – English.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium/High – facilitate respectful active listening and responding in class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Rhetorical Devices and The Impact of Distractions on Safe Driving factsheets. Socratic Seminar Assessment Rubric.

Related Professional Development: Teach Persuasive Language Using Documentaries 

Keywords: social issue, debating, argument, persuasion, contention, It’s People Like Us.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how documentary film uses rhetorical devices to persuade.
  • Students understand the impact of mobile phones on society.
  • Students are able to listen and contribute during a structured discussion.
  • Students are able to conduct a self-assessment.

Success criteria:

  • Students share at least two different ideas during the discussion, using evidence from the sources as support.
  • Students build on other students’ ideas at least once during a contribution.
  • Students describe, in writing, personal achievement and areas for growth in performance.

Teacher content information: By the end of today, most of us will have checked our phones over 150 times: on the toilet, in the car or at the dinner table. But, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves - is there a time and a place? Is our mobile phone use affecting our health and wellbeing?

It’s People Like Us is a 22 minute documentary that follows five real Australians who

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: The purpose of a Socratic Seminar is to achieve a deeper understanding about the ideas and values in a text.

Reflect on your learning throughout the Socratic Seminar by responding to the following:

  • At any point, did the seminar revert to something other than a shared conversation? If so, how did the group handle this?
  • What evidence did you see of people actively listening and building on others' ideas?
  • How has your understanding of this source been affected by the ideas explored in this seminar?
  • What parts of the discussion did you find most interesting? In what parts were you least engaged?
  • What would you like to do differently as a participant the next time you are in a seminar?
  • What did you learn about yourself as you participated in the Socratic Seminar?
  • Have you changed any ideas you used to have on this subject?
  • If you were assessing your own contribution, what comments would you make?
  • If you were assessing your attentiveness to the contribut
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