Quick summary: Students will consider how a story can change people’s minds. They will view a short clip from the documentary Dying to Live that features the story of Holly, the recipient of donated lungs. Students then watch a clip detailing research findings into how people’s brains can change when they are told stories with a plot that follows a specific dramatic arc. Students respond to the clip using a Seed Discussion Organiser, then dig deeper into how stories change minds by reading an article. Students then come together, and using the discussion seeds they wrote down as a guide, discuss what they have learned about how stories can change people’s minds.
Dying To Live is a documentary feature film that examines organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia through seven different stories that highlight the social, physical and emotional effects of being on the organ donor waiting list. The film also aims to dispel myths about organ and tissue donation while encouraging family conversations so that family members are aware of their loved ones’ donation intentions. You can purchase a DVD of the film at The Education Shop or you can stream the film on YouTube or Google Play for minimal cost or via DocPlay.
- Students understand how a story can change people’s minds.
- Students understand more about organ and tissue donation, and the impact it can have on people’s lives.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
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)
- 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)
Year 10 English
- Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)
- Identify, explain and discuss how narrative viewpoint, structure, characterisation and devices including analogy and satire shape different interpretations and responses to a text (ACELT1642)
Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They select evidence from texts to analyse and explain how language choices and conventions are used to influence an audience. They listen for ways texts position an audience.
Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They evaluate other interpretations, analysing the evidence used to support them. They listen for ways features within texts can be manipulated to achieve particular effects.
Topic: Social Issues
Unit of work: Dying to Live – English – Year 9 & 10
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion
Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Seed Discussion Posters – printed. Article: How Stories Change the Brain – printed, one per student. Dramatic Arc Factsheet – printed, one per student.
Related Professional Development: Exploring General Capabilities: Ethical Understanding
Keywords: Organ and tissue donation, changing minds, ethics, health, wellbeing, social issues, stories, narrative, changing minds, persuasion, Dying to Live
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
Cool Australia, Aquarius Productions and Intrinsic Story would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of GoodPitch² Australia, Shark Island Institute, and Documentary Australia Foundation in the development of these teaching resources.