Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will use the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet as a base text to explore the representation of conflict in society. Also using Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation and a contemporary reflection on the tragedy of the coward punch, students will examine how the issues that Shakespeare warned his audiences about hundreds of years ago are connected to those of the modern day.

Coward Punch logo​​The STOP the Coward Punch education package aims to spread awareness about the devastating effects of the coward punch on our community. ​​This education package was developed by a team of experts, including a youth worker, education specialist and specialist teachers and references the latest research and laws on coward punches.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the impact of speech and word choice on meaning
  • Students will analyse complex texts and interpret authorial intent
  • Students will identify points of connection between text and film
  • Students will make connections between the issues of the past and present.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)
  • Analyse text structures and language features of literary texts, and make relevant comparisons with other texts (ACELT1772)
  • Create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (ACELT1773)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-6C, EN5-7D

General capabilities: Literacy 

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: 

Students 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. Students 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.

Topic: Social Issues

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work STOP the Coward Punch: English – Years 7 to 10.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – organise students into groups and facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

Related professional development: Strategies for Dealing with Aggressive and Violent Behaviours

Keywords: coward punch, Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, violence, prologue, sonnet, Baz Luhrmann, tragedy, English, literature, comparison, analysis

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... understand the impact of speech and word choice on meaning
  • … analyse complex texts and interpret authorial intent
  • … identify points of connection between text and film
  • … make connections between the issues of the past and present.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … analyse Shakespeare’s language to interpret his message
  • … compare Shakespearean text to that of a film adaptation
  • … connect Shakespearean themes with the modern context of the coward punch
  • … adapt Shakespearean writing to a contemporary message.

Teacher content information:

The STOP the Coward Punch campaign
STOP the Coward Punch by Danny Green aims to eliminate the coward punch from society and save lives in the process. Since 2000, over 172 Australians have been killed by a coward punch and many more were injured. The coward punch leaves a devastating ripple through society, mentally and physically scarring family, friends and survi

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Student Worksheet

Coward Punch - It's A Tragedy

Learning intentions: You will...

  • ... understand the impact of speech and word choice on meaning
  • … analyse complex texts and interpret authorial intent
  • … identify points of connection between text and film
  • … make connections between the issues of the past and present.

Success criteria: You can…

  • … analyse Shakespeare’s language to interpret his message
  • … compare Shakespearean text to that of a film adaptation
  • … connect Shakespearean themes with the modern context of the coward punch
  • … adapt Shakespearean writing to a contemporary message.

Shakespeare Mini-Lesson

1. A prologue is an introduction to a literary work. Below is the Prologue to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

E.g.: Note down the things that you SEE, THINK and WONDER when you watch the video:

Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
F

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