Activity Introduction

blue_maddison_smiling_1q4a3218_photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson incorporates clips from Blue The Film as learning inspiration. In this finding out lesson, students are introduced to biographical writing and will enhance their understanding of the experiences of young people working to make a difference. They will examine the story of Madison Stewart (Shark Girl) and use thinking, planning and writing tools to understand the role of biographical writing in engaging audiences with the achievements and work of people trying to make a difference. Students will then plan, draft and publish their own biographical writing.

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. Along with the film is an ambitious global campaign to create advocacy and behaviour change through the #oceanguardian movement. To watch the film and become an ocean guardian, see the website.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand the structural elements of biographical texts about individuals who aspire to make a difference.
  • Students will understand how language can be context-specific and unique to different communities, demonstrating their membership of particular groups.
  • Students will enhance their understanding of biography structures and the importance of these devices in communicating meaning about the experiences of individuals aspiring to make a difference.

21st century skills:

critical-thinking-creative-thinking-communicating-digitalliteracy-globalcitizenshipAustralian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 8 English

  • Understand and explain how combinations of words and images in texts are used to represent particular groups in society, and how texts position readers in relation to those groups (ACELT1628)
  • Understand how conventions of speech adopted by communities influence the identities of people in those communities (ACELA1541)
  • Experiment with text structures and language features to refine and clarify ideas to improve the effectiveness of students’ own texts (ACELY1810)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-8D, EN4-4B.

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students understand how the selection of text structures is influenced by the selection of language mode and how this varies for different purposes and audiences. They understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. Students explain the effectiveness of language choices they make to influence the audience. They 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. Biographical Writing Factsheet, Turtles FactsheetSeabirds FactsheetSharks FactsheetFishing Factsheet.

Keywords: Blue The Film, ocean conservation, marine ecosystems, reflection, language, ocean, biographies, sharks.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

blue_shark-and-turtle_slp_0062-copy-2_photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will understand the structural elements of biographical texts about individuals who aspire to make a difference. Students will understand how language can be context-specific and unique to different communities, demonstrating their membership of particular groups.Students will enhance their understanding of biography structures and the importance of these devices in communicating meaning about the experiences of individuals aspiring to make a difference.

Success criteria:

  • Students can explain the features of a biographical texts and provide examples of these.
  • Students can write a short blurb that uses biographical elements to communicate key information and meaning and engage readers.

blue_learning-intentions-tip

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.

But the seas are under threat. The industrialisation th

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Are sharks misunderstood?

Part A: Headlines

1. Watch the following video and then write a news headline for an issue raised in the video about sharks or the people who work with them. This thinking routine draws on the idea of newspaper-type headlines as a way to sum up and capture the essence of an event, idea, concept or topic.

For the love of sharks (https://vimeo.com/211775521)

2. Respond to the following question: If you were to write a headline for this topic or issue right now that captured the most important aspect that should be remembered, what would that headline be?

HEADLINE: 

Part B: Biographies and Personal Narratives

1. Refer to the Biographical Writing Factsheet to complete the following table. Watch the following video about Madison Stewart (Shark Girl) to form the basis of your notes.

Who is Madison Stewart (https://vimeo.com/211443595)

Who is Madison Stewart?
Where and when did Madison Stewart start working with sharks?
What are

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