Activity Introduction

PK Hero Image 3Quick summary: This lesson guides students to understand that they are connected to their world, to identify the issues that matter to them, and to plan and carry out an awareness-raising campaign around their chosen issue. The lesson links to the social action that features in Paul Kelly – Stories of Me and uses design thinking principles to enable students to have a meaningful impact on their own community.

Key points to explore:

  • There are many ways to raise awareness around important social issues.
  • Students are able to make change in their community.
  • The process of working on a project is as important as the final result.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English

  • Understand that roles and relationships are developed and challenged through language and interpersonal skills (ACELA1551)
  • Analyse and explain the use of symbols, icons and myth in still and moving images and how these augment meaning (ACELA1560)
  • Use interaction skills to present and discuss an idea and to influence and engage an audience by selecting persuasive language, varying voice tone, pitch, and pace, and using elements such as music and sound effects (ACELY1811)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for aesthetic and playful purposes (ACELY1741)
  • 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)

Year 10 English

  • Refine vocabulary choices to discriminate between shades of meaning, with deliberate attention to the effect on audiences (ACELA1571)
  • Identify and explore the purposes and effects of different text structures and language features of spoken texts, and use this knowledge to create purposeful texts that inform, persuade and engage (ACELY1750)
  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)
  • 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)

Year 11 English

Unit 1

Investigate the relationships between language, context and meaning by:

  • evaluating the choice of mode and medium in shaping the response of audiences, including digital texts. (ACEEN003)

Examine similarities and differences between imaginative, persuasive and interpretive texts including:

  • explaining the ways language features, text structures and conventions communicate ideas and points of view (ACEEN004)
  • evaluating the impact of description and imagery, including figurative language, and still and moving images in digital and multimodal texts. (ACEEN007)

Analyse and evaluate how responses to texts, including students’ own responses, are influenced by:

  • personal, social and cultural context (ACEEN009)

Create a range of texts:

  • using appropriate form, content, style and tone for different purposes and audiences in real and imagined contexts (ACEEN011)

Unit 2

Compare texts in a variety of contexts, mediums and modes by:

  • explaining the relationship between purpose and context (ACEEN021)

Investigate the representation of ideas, attitudes and voices in texts including:

  • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices, for example, emphasis, emotive language and imagery in the construction of argument (ACEEN025)

Create a range of texts:

  • using imaginative, interpretive and persuasive elements for different purposes, contexts and audiences (ACEEN032)

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, ICT Capability.

Topic: Social issues.


Time required: 120 mins, plus time spent on working on campaign and public display of student projects.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate student discussion, coordinate student movement around classroom, encourage divergent thinking, facilitate students’ self-directed learning, coordinate students to organise a public display of their learning. 

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Copy of Paul Kelly – Stories of Me (teachers are required to create an account to view and invite students to view the film). Printed copies of the How do I Connect to my World diagram for each student. Project Planning Tips for Success. Butcher’s paper. or mindmeister (optional). A4 paper. Blu-Tack. Sticky notes.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, using ICT to visualise thinking.

Keywords: social action, awareness raising, campaign, social issues, community, real-world learning, Paul Kelly.

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


Teacher Worksheet

PK Hero Image 7Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand that they are active participants in their world and are capable of taking action and raising awareness around the social issues that exist in their world.

Teacher content information: Student voice and choice is key in this Social Action lesson. Students will identify a social issue that is important to them and brainstorm how they are going to raise awareness about the issue. Enabling students to take action will engage them more deeply in the learning process - they focus on the themes that the class has been exploring throughout the unit and take ownership of their learning. This project will also encourage students to connect with and create change in their local and broader community, and creates excellent opportunities for students to develop real-world skills. Most importantly, the action section of this unit enables students to develop the understanding that the status quo does not necessarily need to remain

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are" - John W. Gardner

How do I Connect to my World?

1. Reflect on how you connect to the different segments of your life. Use this diagram to guide you. Fill in each of the segments with the people, events, things, etc that you think influence you.

My Connections diagram


Recalling Connections Between Paul Kelly and his World

2. What is it about Paul Kelly - Stories of Me that you remember the most? Describe the details using the 5Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why:

More About the Issues that Matter to Us

3. Complete the table below to narrow what you will address in this project:

The social issue we've identified in our community:

Factors that are involved in the social issue - describe the details a little more:

How can we find out more about the issue?

  • Who can we ask more about the issue?
  • What can we read? e.g. newspaper reports
  • Where can we find out more informat
- 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.