Activity Introduction

blue_jennifer_holding_injured_bird_1q4a2136_photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. In this finding out lesson, students will examine biographical and reflective language and text structures. They will consider the experiences the experiences of Dr Jennifer Lavers and how she has worked to make a difference to the environment. Using a selection of thinking, planning and writing tools, students will analyse the role of biographical and reflective language in communicating with audiences to inspire them to take action. Students will then produce a short written biography of Dr Jennifer Lavers and her achievements and work with seabird colonies.

blue-white-logo-120pxBlue is a feature documentary film charting the drastic decline in the health of our oceans. With more than half of all marine life lost and the expansion of the industrialization of the seas, the film sets out the challenges we are facing and the opportunities for positive change. Blue changes the way we think about our liquid world and inspires the audience to action. Find out how to screen or download the film here. Along with the film is an ambitious global campaign to create advocacy and behaviour change through the #oceanguardian movement. To become an ocean guardian, see the website.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand how biographical texts can be used to communicate individual stories and inspire action among audiences.
  • Students will enhance their skills in making language choices that communicate both their understanding of individual stories and the actions and achievements can inspire audiences.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 8 English

  • Analyse and evaluate the ways that text structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to a text (ACELY1732)
  • Recognise that vocabulary choices contribute to the specificity, abstraction and style of texts (ACELA1547)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-3B

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to represent different ideas and issues in texts.They listen for and identify different emphases in texts, using that understanding to elaborate on discussions. Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. They explain the effectiveness of language choices they make to influence the audience. Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. They take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences. Students demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect and use accurate spelling and punctuation.

Topic: Blue The Film, Ocean Conservation, Water, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Blue The Film – English – Year 7 & 8.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – lead students in discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one per student. Device capable of presenting a website, clip and digital worksheet to the class. Seabirds Stimulus Images Sheet, Biographical Writing FactsheetReflective Writing FactsheetJennifer Lavers BiographyValerie Taylor BiographyEditing Checklist.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, marine ecosystems, reflection, language, ocean, biographies, seabird colonies, plastic pollution.

Cool Australia and Northern Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of GoodPitch² AustraliaShark Island InstituteDocumentary Australia FoundationThe Caledonia Foundation and Screen Australia in the development of these teaching resources.

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

© 2017 Northern Pictures and Cool Australia


Teacher Worksheet

blue_young_bird_in_hands_untitled_1-534-3_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will understand how biographical texts can be used to communicate individual stories and inspire action among audiences. Students will enhance their skills in making language choices that communicate both their understanding of individual stories and the actions and achievements can inspire audiences.

Success criteria:

  • Students can describe and explain the language and structural features of biographies, providing examples of how they can communicate important information about individuals and their achievements.
  • Students can use biographical language and text structures to write their own biography of Dr Jennifer Lavers, demonstrating their use of language to communicate information about Dr Jennifer Lavers, her work and achievements.


Teacher content information: From space, our planet appears as a tiny blue dot in the vastness of the universe. No matter where you live on our blue planet – you’re connected to the sea.


- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Who is Dr Jennifer Lavers?

Part A: Think of the Seabirds!

Complete the 'See-Think-Wonder' visible thinking routine below. This activity is a visible thinking routine that encourages you to make observations and interpretations about what you see. It can also help you establish goals for further learning. Respond to the image on the Seabirds Stimulus Images Sheet that captures your attention.

What do you SEE? What do you THINK about that? What does it make you WONDER?

Your teacher might ask you to share your responses or discuss them with the class. The following questions might help prompt you:

  • What was something in the image that made you think that way?
  • Did anybody think something different about this image?
  • What might that be able to tell you about seabirds/marine ecosystems?

Part B: Who is Dr Jennifer Lavers?

Watch the following clip about Dr Jennifer Lavers, then note the biographical elements. Closely analyse and evaluate t

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.