Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students explore the powers that editors and filmmakers have when representing people who are the subjects of documentaries. They will explore In My Blood It Runs as a case study where a special approach to self-determination was used. They will then unpack the concept of self-determination and its importance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We recommend that before you teach this lesson, you have taught one or both of the first lessons in the sequence (Identity and Diverse Perspectives), accessed the free professional learning resource, which has been co-developed by Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali team, and watched the film with your class. 

Learning intentions: Students understand… 

  • … the complex and collaborative relationship between documentary filmmakers and the people featured in these films
  • … how editors can make meaning in a film
  • … how representations in film can relate to political issues
  • … how film techniques can communicate power relationships and political ideas
  • … the importance of self-determination when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to create films.

21st century skills: 

Critical Thinking Cultural Understanding 

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)
  • Apply an expanding vocabulary to read increasingly complex texts with fluency and comprehension (ACELY1743)
  • 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.6).

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: 70 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

  • Butcher’s paper and markers (one per group)
  • Device with internet access capable of displaying videos for the whole class
  • Project Approach – one copy per students
  • Student Worksheet.

Keywords: In My Blood It Runs, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, film, film study, editing, point of view, self-determination, rights, decision making.

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.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand... 

  • … the complex and collaborative relationship between documentary filmmakers and the people featured in these films
  • … how editors can make meaning in a film
  • … how representations in film can relate to political issues
  • … how film techniques can communicate power relationships and political ideas
  • … the importance of self-determination when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to create films.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify editing techniques in film
  • … suggest their own edits to change a shot’s meaning
  • … relate editing decisions in In My Blood It Runs to its historical and cultural context
  • … identify guidelines for how to work ethically with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to create films.

Teacher content information:

About the Film
In My Blood It Runs is an intimate and compassionate observational documentary from the perspective of a 10-ye

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "This movie's about me and what I think is: stop taking kids away, that's wrong." ~ Dujuan, In My Blood It Runs

1. Write a paragraph expressing your view on the following questions:

Is there a difference between the person telling a story and a person in a story?

Does the person in the story have power over what story is told about them?

How important is the relationship between documentary filmmakers and the people in their films?

2. Watch this clip from In My Blood It Runs:

IMBIR_1_WhichOne (https://vimeo.com/437699471) Closer Productions, 2019.

3. Create your own definition of 'self-determination':

 

4. Watch this clip from In My Blood It Runs and answer the questions that follow:

IMBIR_5_BeLikeThem (https://vimeo.com/437697885/911dd02933) Closer Productions, 2019. 

Who is in the story?

Who is telling the story?

What is the story about?

5. Watch this clip that was filmed at the national cinema release in Alice Springs, where several m

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