Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed both independently by students and in groups. Students can complete many of the activities alone. However, the final activities require collaboration with other students, peers or with adults.

In this lesson, students learn the value of fictional characters for their social and emotional health. After identifying key benefits of ‘socialising’ with characters, students make connections between their world and the literary world of texts they enjoy. Students are supported to write a text that includes their favourite fictional character. Students are then encouraged to create literary communities, through discussions with friends, surveys and tips for starting a book club.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625)
  • Discuss aspects of texts, for example their aesthetic and social value, using relevant and appropriate metalanguage (ACELT1803)
  • Reflect on ideas and opinions about characters, settings and events in literary texts, identifying areas of agreement and difference with others and justifying a point of view (ACELT1620)

Year 8 English:

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of Covid-19. The rapid change to the way we must live, work and interact has seen a rapid uptake in new technologies that allow us to remain connected to family, friends and colleagues.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required


[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

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


Student Worksheet

Fictional Friends - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will learn to use images to portray the meanings of words
  • You will learn to summarise through the use of guiding questions
  • You will learn to use a character from a text in your own writing
  • You will learn how to socialise through the use of texts.

Success criteria:

  • You can transform a definition into images
  • You can answer questions to create a summary
  • You can use textual details to transfer a fictional character into your writing
  • You can work with others to discuss and enjoy texts.


Missing your friends? Rereading Harry Potter might be the next best thing

Elaine Reese, University of Otago

Humans are innately social creatures. But as we stay home to limit the spread of COVID-19, video calls only go so far to satisfy our need for connection.

The good news is the relationships we have with fictional characters from books, TV shows, movies, and video games – c

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