Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students explore the key theme of ‘identity’ in the feature documentary In My Blood It Runs. They then examine some of the ways in which identity can be constructed and understood. Examining the first scene from the film, students think about the filmic techniques used by the creators to engage with the key theme of identity. This lesson is the first of a wider unit of work exploring the major themes of In My Blood It Runs, including diverse perspectives, child rights, self-determination and speaking power.

We recommend that you teach this lesson, and/or the second lesson in this sequence, Diverse Perspectives, before showing the full film to your class. To help study the film, we strongly encourage you to access the free professional learning resource, which has been co-developed by Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali team. You should also view the full-length documentary prior to your planning around these resources.

Learning intentions: Students will… 

  • … reflect critically on aspects of their own identity
  • … work towards developing definitions or deeper understandings of identity more generally
  • … recognise the importance of place in forming identities
  • … analyse how identities are represented and constructed in film.

21st century skills: 

Community Engagement Cultural UnderstandingEmpathy     

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)
  • 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)
  • Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739)
  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)
  • Explore and explain the combinations of language and visual choices that authors make to present information, opinions and perspectives in different texts (ACELY1745).

Year 10 English

  • Analyse and explain how text structures, language features and visual features of texts and the context in which texts are experienced may influence audience response (ACELT1641)
  • Identify, explain and discuss how narrative viewpoint, structure, characterisation and devices including analogy and satire shape different interpretations and responses to a text (ACELT1642)
  • Analyse and evaluate how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural and/or visual choices (ACELY1749)
  • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-2A, EN5-3B, EN5-4B, EN5-7D, EN5-8D.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.2, OI.5). 

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 achievement standards: Students interpret, create, evaluate, discuss and perform a wide range of literary texts in which the primary purpose is aesthetic, as well as texts designed to inform and persuade. These include various types of media texts, including newspapers, film and digital texts, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, dramatic performances and multimodal texts, with themes and issues involving levels of abstraction, higher order reasoning and intertextual references. Students develop a critical understanding of the contemporary media and the differences between media texts.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work In My Blood It Runs.

Time required: 75 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class activities and discussions, maintain a safe environment for all students.

Resources required:

  • Ball of yarn
  • Device with internet access capable of displaying videos for the whole class
  • Student Worksheet.

Keywords: In My Blood It Runs, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, culture, community, identity, film, film study, analysis. 

Cool Australia would like to thank the In My Blood It Runs Advisory Committee who supported the writing of this resource. Special thanks to Alanna Raymond, Tessa Keenan, Stephanie Woerde, Esma Livermore and Julie Bover from Reconciliation Australia, Alex Shain from Shark Island, Maria Katsabanis from Australian Human Rights Commission, Renee Phillips from National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition, and Keren Shlezinger.

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... 

  • … reflect critically on aspects of their own identity
  • … work towards developing definitions or deeper understandings of identity more generally
  • … recognise the importance of place in forming identities
  • … analyse how identities are represented and constructed in film.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … construct and discuss definitions of identity
  • … make physical and mental connections between diverse identities
  • … contribute sensitively to small group and class discussions
  • … explain the techniques films use to create associations between shots and make meaning.

Teacher content information:

This lesson is designed as a pre-viewing lesson, to be completed before students watch In My Blood It Runs. It starts students thinking about the key theme of identity, and about their own positions as viewers. It ends with students analysing one of the film techniques used to show the main character’s own sense of

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “I was born a little Aboriginal kid. That means that I had a memory, a memory about Aboriginals. I just felt something, a memory. History. In my blood it runs.” ~ Dujuan, In My Blood It Runs

1. In your group, write your answers to the following questions:

•  What suburb are we in?

•  What town or city are we in?

•  What state are we in?

•  What country are we in?

2. Watch this short clip from the start of In My Blood It Runs:

In My Blood It Runs (documentary) - 'I had a memory' (clip 02) ( Closer Productions, 2019.

3. Watch the clip again and use this table to take notes:

What I see or hear What I see or hear next I see the connection between them being...


Write your answers the following questions:

What thoughts do you now have about the diverse ways in which identity can be formed or understood?

How have your ideas of identity changed since the beginni

- 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.