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 lesson has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 60 years Visy has been striving for sustainability, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting recyclable materials and recycling them into new paper and packaging products. Click here to find out more about Visy and their innovative work in recovering and transforming recyclable materials into new products to preserve our earth’s precious resources.


Learning intentions:

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

21st century skills:

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.

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: Sustainability, Waste.

Unit of work: Bright Sparks – 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 waste and the health of the planet.
  • Students will be able to write an allegorical text that shares a message about a current issue in society.

Success criteria: 

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

Teacher content information:

Information about waste: In the 2014–2015 financial year, Australians disposed of around 18 million tonnes of waste. That is around 754 kilograms per person¹. These figures saw Australia listed as the country with the 5th highest amount

- or - to view worksheets

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.

- 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.