Quick 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 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.
- 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:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
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)
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 Factsheet, Seabirds Factsheet, Sharks Factsheet, Fishing 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 Australia, Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation, The 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