Activity Introduction


Subjects: English 

Year Levels: 7 & 8

Topics: Sustainability, creative thinking, climate change, natural disaster.

Teaching Time: 120 mins.

Quick summary: 

In this English lesson, students will be refreshing their understanding of a narrative structure and using their knowledge obtained throughout the unit to craft a narrative about a person, family or community who have survived an Australian disaster. The purpose of the story is to show the strength that someone must show in a time of crisis in order to build resilience.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand narrative structure
  • Students will understand how narrative structure can be used effectively to reflect a dangerous experience.

21st-century skills: 

      CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingEmpathy         

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

  • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, the structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725).

Year 8 English:

  • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632)
  • Create imaginative texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices (ACELY1736).

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-6C, EN4-4B.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students create texts showing how language features and images from other texts can be combined for effect. Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences.

Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. 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 – Teachers will need to introduce and explain the narrative structure, but much of the lesson is student-driven as they plan and craft their own narratives.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: Disaster, resilience, narrative, structure, orientation, rising action, climax, complication, falling action, resolution. 

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...

  • …understand narrative structure
  • …understand how narrative structure can be used effectively to reflect a dangerous experience.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • …craft a narrative response using the narrative structure pyramid.
  • …engage actively with strength and resilience in the face of a disaster.

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 memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or process. You should direct students to a school counsellor if they

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Student Worksheet

Student Worksheet

1. What does the following visual represent?

English triangle


Fill in the different sections, guided by your teacher.

English triangle

2. Fill in the structure below to represent the story or film you discussed as a class.

3. The events of a narrative structure:

Do events always have to be in the order outlined on the visual above?

Do you know any stories or films where the order of the events is unusual?


What is the effect of this?

4. Write down ten words you associate with Australian disasters:

5. Map out your story here:

English triangle

6. Write your story plan below and write the story in your workbooks or laptop:

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