Activity Introduction

dumbo feather 5Quick summary: Students are introduced to the process of selecting, refining and polishing their work for submission while, at the same time, embracing the stylistic features of a Dumbo Feather Conversation.

Dumbo Lord MayorTeachers can use these resources to teach literacy skills with the outcome being to enter the New Conversations Storytelling Competition. This competition is open to Australian students in Year 9 to 10. It encourages them to conduct conversations with people they find extraordinary and invites students to share their story and celebrate their heroic qualities through their submission. The competition aims to connect students to the power of storytelling, develop their communication skills and be reminded of the emotional value of face-to-face conversation.

Learning goals:

  • Students plan and sequence appropriate content and multimodal elements to promote a point of view or enable a new way of seeing.
  • Students experiment with texts structures and language features to refine and clarify ideas to improve the effectiveness of students’ own texts.
  • Students use a range of software, including word processing programs, to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts – (either outside of class time on their own computers or during class time if it is an option to use a computer laboratory)

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Interpersonal understanding.

Australian Curriculum content description:

English Year 9:

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, flexibly and imaginatively to publish texts (ACELY1748)

English Year 10:

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
  • Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (ACELY1757)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user(ACELY1776)

Syllabus outcomesEN5-1A, EN5-2A.

Topic: New Conversations Storytelling Competition 

Time required: 60 minutes

Resources required: Internet access, DUMBO WRITER’S BIBLE, students worksheets, cameras (digital, tablet or phone).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Conversation, Writing, Extraordinary, Editing, Journalism.

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


Teacher Worksheet

dumbo feather 8Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: To encourage students to gain a stronger sense of the process of editing so that they can produce work of an appropriately sequenced, structured, polished and publishable standard.

Outcomes: Students are introduced to the principles behind editing and are encouraged to borrow and apply recommended editing techniques towards their own work. Essentially students are scaffolded through this process by a series of viewing activities and questions. Following which, students will reflect on their own pieces of work and polish them to a publishable standard. 

Background information:

Dumbo Feather is not your average magazine, we are a print and online publication with an active and engaged community inspired to create social impact. Each quarter our print publication features long-form conversations with five extraordinary people. It is an engaging read that begs you to sit down and spend a couple hours soaking it in.

We scour the globe t

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Why do you think editing is considered a craft?


Part 1: What are the 3 golden rules of editing according to past Dumbo Feather assistant editor Livia Albek-Ripka?




How does the Livia Albek-Ripka define the process of editing overall? 

How might you sequence the following editing activities? Number the following tasks in the order which you think would be most logical to approach the process of editing.

Grammar check
Spelling check
Track changes
Identifying the major points of focus 
Cutting down the words 
Review sequencing of discussion 


What is the purpose of editing?


What do you feel will need to be your major editing focus when you edit your own work... and why?


Part 2: Now it's time for you to think about how the process of editing will help you to create a more polished and publishable piece of work for submission. Reflecting on your own transcript, answer the following questi

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