Activity Introduction


Subjects: English 

Year Levels: Years 7 & 8

Topics: Sustainability, critical and creative thinking, climate change.

Teaching Time: 90 mins.

Quick summary: In this English lesson, students will revise their understanding of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and use this knowledge to highlight and analyse stories of those who experienced the Black Summer bushfires. From this understanding, they will construct cinquain poems representing their understanding of the experience of the Black Summer bushfires. 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will read and empathise with Australian disaster experiences
  • Students will identify and analyse nouns, verbs, adjectives and adjectives in a narrative
  • Students will understand the structure of a cinquain poem.

21st-century skills: 

  Critical Thinking Creative Thinking  CommunicatingEmpathy

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

  • Use prior knowledge and text processing strategies to interpret a range of types of texts (ACELY1722)
  • Understand, interpret and discuss how language is compressed to produce a dramatic effect in film or drama, and to create layers of meaning in poetry (ACELT1623).

Year 8 English:

  • Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733)
  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632).

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-2A, EN4-1A.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards:

Students understand how the selection of a variety of language features can influence an audience. They understand how to draw on personal knowledge, textual analysis and other sources to express or challenge a point of view. They create texts showing how language features and images from other texts can be combined for effect.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards:

Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. Through combining ideas, images and language features from other texts, students show how ideas can be expressed in new ways. Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers will need to support students in understanding the different parts of speech and facilitate a class discussion about the use of these in the focus story.

Resources required:

  • Coloured highlighters
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: parts of speech, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, bushfires, Black Summer, empathy, cinquain poem.

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


Teacher Worksheet

minderoo_lesson_frameTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • …read and empathise with Australian disaster experiences
  • …identify and analyse nouns, verbs, adjectives and adjectives in a narrative
  • …understand the structure of a cinquain poem.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... empathise with the experiences of those who experienced the Black Summer bushfires
  • ...identify nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in a text
  • ...construct a cinquain poem reflecting their empathy for the experiences during the Black Summer bushfires.

Teacher content information:

Handling Sensitive Topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, shall they need to. The tasks can be activatin

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: "Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going" - Rita Mae Brown.

1. Parts of Speech

  Nouns Adjectives Verbs Adverbs

2. Story of the fires - close analysis
Highlight the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in the story below in four different coloured highlighters.

Title: A crowd of us watched in a numbed silence as houses exploded.

On December 30, our family of four — my partner and our kids aged 14 and 12 — had just arrived in the small beachside town of Mallacoota, a popular holiday vacation spot. We knew bushfires were affecting other communities about 60 kilometers away, but we believed we were fine.

While out fishing, a couple of hours from shore, a work colleague also holidaying in Mallacoota called. “Mate, this is serious,” he said. “That fire is heading here and we’re getting out now.” With a single road into and out of town through h

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