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 is a contemporary social issue with far-reaching effects on our community’s safety, health and wellbeing. In this lesson, students apply what they have learnt in the It’s People Like Us lessons. They are given one task and can make a choice about how to fulfil the requirements. They plan and complete the task with teacher and peer support.


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 the impacts of mobile phones on their own lives.
  • Students know how to use rhetorical devices to persuade.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 English

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

Year 9 English

  • 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)

Year 10 English

  • ICreate 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)

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response.

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English 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: 120+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers will be required to facilitate active listening and responding in class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – (printed) one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Persuasive Piece – Assessment RubricPersuasive Language factsheet, Persuasive Piece Planning Tool (both printed, one per student).

Related Professional Development: Teach Persuasive Language Using Documentaries 

Keywords: contention, rhetorical devices, smartphones, social issue, persuasion, press release, logos, pathos, ethos, 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.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will Identify rhetorical devices in texts.
  • Students understand the impacts of mobile phones on their own lives.
  • Students will refer to research to support persuasive text writing.
  • Students understand rhetorical devices.

Success criteria:

  • Students create a persuasive text that incorporates rhetorical devices

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, just like us, have found themselves drawn into their screens, sometimes at the expense of common sense and self preservation.

The documentary forms part of the TACs ‘Towards Zero’ vision for a future free of deaths and serious injuries on

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Student Worksheet

It's People Like Us - Assessment Task 


Task Description

Context (hypothetical):

You have been invited to represent the views of a young person during a community information session held to highlight the impact of mobile phones on society.

Members of the community and various organisations have been invited to attend. One of the key purposes of the session is to see and hear examples of the ways that the message about mobile phone use can be shared in the most effective way possible, so that real behaviour change can occur.


Your task is to use language and communication skills to influence people to make change in relation to attitudes and values towards the use of mobile phones.

You need to consider and choose: Your MESSAGE:
What is the attitude, value or belief you want to change?
What is the message you want to send to change this?
Who are you directly addressing with your message?
Who are you indirectly address
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