Activity Introduction

CA-Eva-On-Location-Iqbal-Ahmad-Oruzgani-photoframeQuick Summary: Students are introduced to the concept of hope and how it can emerge from the stories of people chasing asylum. They will read informative texts about the first ever Refugee Olympic Team and build their individual and collective understanding by considering stories that inspire and create a sense of hope. Using a selection of thinking, planning and writing tools, students will create a biographical text in which they use language to capture emotions, empathy and communicate experiences that inspire hope.

CA-Title-Treatment-ReversalChasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies through the personal accounts of people seeking asylum and whistleblowers who tried to work within the system. To watch the documentary, stream it on Kanopy and Clickview or purchase the DVD at the ATOM Education Shop.

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will understand how stories of overcoming adversity in refugees’ journeys can send a powerful message of hope to other people seeking asylum.
  • Students will understand how biographical texts can be used to communicate individual stories and inspire hope.
  • Students will make language choices that communicate their understanding of individual stories and a sense of hope that can inspire audiences.

21st Century Skills:

ca hope skills v2

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 English:

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Create literary texts with a sustained ‘voice’, selecting and adapting appropriate text structures, literary devices, language, auditory and visual structures and features for a specific purpose and intended audience (ACELT1815)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-3B.

General Capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority:

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students evaluate how text structures can be used in innovative ways by different authors. They explain how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary contributes to the development of individual style, and create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of work: Stories of Chasing Asylum – access the unit overview here.

Time required: 120 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion and assess student work.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class, and enough devices for students to use individually or in groups of 2-3. Internet access. Article – Olympic Refugee Team overcomes hardship to make Games debut (optional – one per student). Biographical Writing Factsheet (one per student – printed or accessed online), Triple Venn Diagram.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: asylum seeker, refugee, hope, Olympics.

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


Teacher Worksheet

CA-Asad-Khadim-Eka-Nickmatulhuda-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This lesson is will engage students with a significant ‘story’ of seeking asylum: hope. By considering the circumstances that sustain or diminish hope alongside stories of seeking asylum, students begin to understand and empathise with people fleeing their homes and seeking asylum. Through writing biographies/biographical profiles, students will engage with real stories and develop skills in manipulating text structures and language features to create purposeful texts that engage and inform audiences.

Teacher content information: The issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is very political - many different perspectives exist across a range of contemporary and historical media texts. Australia has a long history of migration resulting in diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions. The movement of people has occurred for varied reasons, including work and employment opportunities, family connections, and leaving due to the e

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What do you hope for your future? What inspires or gives you hope for the future?

What is Hope?

Use the 3-2-1 Bridge visible thinking routine to think about 3 thoughts or ideas, 2 questions and 1 analogy around the concept or feeling of HOPE.

WHAT IS HOPE? (Your initial responses)

3 Thoughts or ideas:


2 Questions:


1 Metaphor/simile/analogy:


Watch one of the following clips (you will be allocated to one) and then make an 'expert pair' to discuss the references to hope in each.

Chasing Asylum Clip 5 (

Chasing Asylum Clip 12 (

After watching the clips, work with your partner to complete the 'Colour, Symbol, Image' thinking routine to visually represent the concept of either hope or hopelessness.

colour symbol image

You could create a table in your workbook or use the one below for this task.



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