Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore allegory and develop their own allegorical narratives about the concept of sustainability and recycling.

This lesson is designed to provide valuable practice for NAPLAN, the national literacy and numeracy test held in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9*. 

This activity has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 70 years Visy has been committed to finding sustainable solutions for Australia’s recyclables and helping to reduce local landfills. Visy collects, receives and sorts paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, steel and aluminium from households, businesses and schools with the purpose of reusing these products in the re-manufacture of new packaging products.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will be able to write an allegorical text relating to a current issue in society.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingEthical Understanding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English:

  • Understand that authors innovate with text structures and language for specific purposes and effects (ACELA1553).
  • Interpret and compare how representations of people and culture in literary texts are drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1633).
  • Present an argument about a literary text based on initial impressions and subsequent analysis of the whole text (ACELT1771).
  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635).
  • Investigate and experiment with the use and effect of extended metaphor, metonymy, allegory, icons, myths and symbolism in texts, for example poetry, short films, graphic novels, and plays on similar themes (ACELT1637).
  • 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).

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-4B, EN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-1A, EN5-7D, EN5-8D.

General capabilities: Literacy, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: By the end of Year 9, students analyse the ways that text structures can be manipulated for effect. They analyse and explain how images, vocabulary choices and language features distinguish the work of individual authors. They evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They understand how interpretations can vary by comparing their responses to texts to the responses of others. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues. They edit for effect, selecting vocabulary and grammar that contribute to the precision and persuasiveness of texts and using accurate spelling and punctuation.

Topic: Recycling, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Visy Education – Literacy Skills.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – model literacy strategies for students.

Resources required:

Keywords: Narrative, allegory, society, sustainable, environment.

*This lesson plan is not an officially endorsed publication of NAPLAN’s creators and administrators – the ACARA body – but is designed to provide practice for the compulsory assessment.

The information and statistics included in this document are approximate and have been simplified for educational/illustrative purposes. They should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

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...

  • ... understand the connection between the choices we make about recycling and the health of the planet
  • ... be able to write an allegorical text that shares a message about a current issue in society.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ... identify one environmental impact of landfill
  • ... describe ways to minimise materials directed to landfill
  • ... describe how materials recovery facilities (MRF) and recycling facilities reduce materials going to landfill
  • ... identify the key features of an allegory
  • ... name key themes or messages of an allegorical story
  • ... plan and write an allegorical narrative with a sustainability theme.

Teacher content information: What do you do with the things you no longer want or need, such as the packaging from the food you buy or bottles you drink from? Many of us have grown up thinking of this as 'waste', as something we need to just get rid of. But what if we think of the

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Student Worksheet


Reflect on your learning throughout the lesson in the form of a 'Tweet About Learning' Twitter post. Write a tweet about the lesson, expressing your thoughts on the day’s learning in 280 characters or less.

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