Activity Introduction

CA-Nauru-child-photoframeQuick summary: Students are introduced to the concepts of justice and injustice and study media texts that represent issues and communicate perspectives about seeking asylum with respect to these concepts. They enhance their understanding of how media texts use language, visual and structural features to represent these justices and injustices with respect to people seeking asylum in different ways; including the use of selection and omission to position audiences. With a specific focus on news media texts, students will use a selection of thinking and analytical tools to deconstruct and evaluate perspectives represented and analyse how language and visual features influences audiences.

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 combinations of language and visual features of news media texts shape meaning and position audiences in relation to issues of justice and injustice in people seeking asylum and in offshore detention.
  • Students will understand and explain how news media texts use written and visual language for inclusive and exclusive effects that empower or disempower and foreground perspectives.
  • Students will enhance their understanding and skills in analysing and evaluating visual and language choices used to shape meaning and communicate perspectives about seeking asylum.

21st century skills:

ca justice injustice skills v2

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 English

  • Evaluate the impact on audiences of different choices in the representation of still and moving images (ACELA1572)
  • Understand how language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower or disempower people (ACELA1564)
  • Analyse and evaluate how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural and/or visual choices (ACELY1749)
  • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-5C, EN5-8D, EN5-7D.

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

Cross-curriculum priority:

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students explain how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary contributes to the development of individual style. They listen for ways features within texts can be manipulated to achieve particular effects.

Topic: Social Issues

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

Time required: 150 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. Justice and Injustice Images to project. Limbo is Nauru’s Real Torture for Asylum-Seekers – Chris Kenny. Sticky-notes (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: asylum seeker, refugee, migrant, media representation, justice, injustice, children.

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


Teacher Worksheet

CA-Eva-On-Location-Iqbal-Ahmad-Oruzgani-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This lesson is designed to engage students in an examination of stories of justice and injustice with respect to people seeking asylum in Australia and policy responses to these stories. Through considering the meanings of justice and injustice and developing their own understanding of how these concepts apply to the context of refugees, people seeking asylum in Australia and in offshore detention, students will enhance their ability to think critically about the perspectives presented to them through news media texts. In analysing news media texts and comparing how language, structural and/or visual choices shape meaning, students will further enhance their critical thinking skills and ability to deconstruct how these choices are used to communicate perspectives and influence audiences.

Teacher content information: The issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is very political - many different perspectives exist across a ran

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Is treating people equally the same as treating people fairly?

What is justice?

With your teacher’s guidance, complete the 'Think, Pair, Share' activity below by considering what comes to mind when you see or hear the word JUSTICE.

THINK - What comes to mind when I hear or see the word JUSTICE?

PAIR - What can I add after discussing with my partner?

SHARE - What will we share with the class?

Look closely at the two illustrations (also available here) that your teacher has projected and list as many things about justice and injustice that you can conclude from observing these images. Aim to list at least three things.




Write your own definition or understanding of justice and injustice in 50 words or less:

Justice and Seeking Asylum

Watch the following clips and carefully and thoughtfully observe and interpret what you see and hear with respect to justice and/or injustice. Your teacher will guide you through the

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.