Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will ‘Tune In’ to the issue of homelessness through the frame of social values. In a Stand-On-The-Line activity, they will establish what their own values are, and consider the values commonly held in Australian society, then think critically about whether all Australian people’s experiences reflect those values. Students will establish their own understanding of homelessness by completing the first part of a KWL thinking routine, then dig deeper into the issue of homelessness in Australia by watching a short clip from Life After The Oasis, responding to questions, and reading a factsheet produced by Homelessness Australia. The class will think critically about the connection between Australian values and the issue of homelessness, and share their thoughts with their peers before reflecting on their new understanding of homelessness by revisiting their KWL thinking as a reflection activity.

Life After The Oasis is a 75 minute documentary that explores the issues, interventions and mindsets associated with youth homelessness in Australia. The film revisits characters and stories from the original 2008 documentary The Oasis, and how opportunities and experiences have shaped their lives over the last ten years. Find out how to screen or view the film here.

Warning: The documentary and the clips contained in this lesson, contains explicit language, images of drug use and confronting scenes and may upset some viewers. Teachers should use their personal discretion when showing the documentary. This resource deals with the rising problem of youth homelessness and its associated social and personal issues. There may be students in your class who have experienced some of the issues discussed. You are encouraged to arrive at a set of agreements and ground rules for discussion with your class about the best way to approach the issues being covered in a way that recognises the dignity of our fellow classmates. Click here for tips on setting ground rules for class discussions and here for advice on how to handle sensitive topics and controversial issues in your classroom.

Learning intentions:

  • Students develop an awareness of the idea that societies hold common values.
  • Students understand what homelessness really is.
  • Students make connections between interventions to reduce numbers of people experiencing homelessness and the Australian value of ‘a fair go’.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English

  • Listen to spoken texts constructed for different purposes, for example, to entertain and to persuade, and analyse how the language features of these texts position listeners to respond in particular ways (ACELY1740)
  • Apply an expanding vocabulary to read increasingly complex texts with fluency and comprehension (ACELY1743)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse texts, comparing and evaluating representations of an event, issue, situation or character in different texts (ACELY1744)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)
  • Choose a reading technique and reading path appropriate for the type of text, to retrieve and connect ideas within and between texts (ACELY1753)
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-8D, EN5-6C.

General capabilities: LiteracyEthical Understanding, Critical and Creative ThinkingPersonal and social capability,

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They listen for ways texts position an audience. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: They 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. Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, building on others’ ideas, solving problems, justifying opinions and developing and expanding arguments.

Topic: Social Issues

Unit of work: Life After The Oasis – English

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. Handling Sensitive Topics And Controversial Issues Factsheet (Optional). Agree/Disagree Posters. Homelessness Australia’s “Homelessness In Australia” Factsheet, A National Report Card On Youth Homelessness (For extension only)

Keywords: Homelessness, homeless, lived experience, youth, values, equality, fair go, The Oasis.

Shark Island Productions and Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of The Caledonia Foundation to the development of these resources.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will ... 

  • ... develop an awareness of the idea that societies hold common values.
  • ... understand what homelessness really is.
  • ... make connections between interventions to reduce numbers of people experiencing homelessness and the Australian value of ‘a fair go’.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • ... describe a value commonly held in Australian society.
  • ... read and summarise key information about homelessness in Australia.
  • ... describe how societal values and the issue of homelessness are linked.

Teacher content information: On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are experiencing homelessness. This alarming statistic raises many questions about homelessness in Australia and what is being done by government and non-government institutions to combat the problem. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines a person to be homeless when they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their cu

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: 1 in 200 people experience homelessness on any given night in Australia.

KWL Thinking Routine

What I KNOW about homelessness in Australia



What I WANT to know about homelessness in Australia



What I have LEARNT about homelessness in Australia




Life After The Oasis

After watching the clip from Life After The Oasis, respond to the following questions:

1. What did you see in the clip from Life After The Oasis?

2. What did the clip make you think about the issue of homelessness?

3. What values did you see represented in the clip?

4. What values did you not see represented in the clip?

5. What values do you think the filmmakers hold?

Homelessness Australia Factsheet

After reading through the Homelessness Australia Factsheet, consider the following statement:

Note down one to two ideas of your own, then turn to the person sitting next to you to share their thoughts.



1. Return to

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