Activity Introduction


Subjects: English 

Year Levels: Year 7 & 8

Topics: Disaster, resilience, hope, social change, point of view, writing. 

Teaching Time: 120 mins. Tasks in this lesson may require more time, depending on individual contexts and teacher discretion.

Quick summary: 

In this lesson, students will learn about the power of storytelling to evoke hope in an audience. Choosing an individual who harnessed the power of hope to enact social change, students will plan and write a personal recount from their point of view, exploring how they overcame obstacles and showed resilience and hope. Students will record their stories, using voice modulation and tone for effect, compiling their recordings into a class podcast.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand how individuals have harnessed the power of hope to enact positive social change
  • Students will understand how to compile a class podcast.

21st-century skills: 

 Creative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyCommunity EngagementCommunicatingProblem FindingProblem SolvingSocial Skills          

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 7 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)
  • Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using rhythm, sound effects, monologue, layout, navigation and colour (ACELT1805).

Year 8 English

  • Understand and explain how combinations of words and images in texts are used to represent particular groups in society, and how texts position readers in relation to those groups (ACELT1628)
  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632).

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-4B, EN4-8D.

General capabilities: Literacy

 Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards:

Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language features to engage the audience. When creating and editing texts they demonstrate understanding of grammar, use a variety of more specialised vocabulary and accurate spelling and punctuation

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards:

Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language patterns for effect. When creating and editing texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect and use accurate spelling and punctuation.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to High – teachers will need to facilitate class discussion and analysis of the article, and help support students through planning their creative writing. Some digital skill is needed to collate a class podcast.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: Hope, resilience, stories, power, personal recount.

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_frame_Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...understand how individuals have harnessed the power of hope to enact positive social change. Students will understand how to compile a class podcast.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • and identify the contention of an article
  • ...craft writing that applies an understanding of hope, using text structure and language features for effect
  • ...record their writing, using voice tone and modulation to convey a point of view.

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 activating for some students and could trigger old

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: “Hope is a thing with feathers” - Emily Dickinson

1. Read the excerpts from the following article as a class.

Excerpts from How Stories Create Hope - Robyn Fivush, PhD
Posted October 15, 2020

The poet Pablo Neruda wrote, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”

Even under the most challenging circumstances, we humans remain hopeful — hopeful that hard times will pass, hopeful that better times are in our future, and hopeful that our children and grandchildren will flourish in a renewed world. Hope is an elusive concept, meaning different things to different people, but, essentially, it comes down to having a sense that the future will bring better things.

Richard Miller, a professor at The Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, has been studying hope for four decades. In an October 6th article in the Atlan

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