Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Retired AFL star Adam Goodes is known to many for his resilient journey in the face of detrimental treatment by AFL spectators and the media beginning in 2013.

In this media literacy lesson, students learn how the media characterises real people. With a focus on Adam Goodes, students analyse media constructions and reflect on what is included and excluded about his character. Then, modelling media-literate practices such as seeking out further, and credible, information, students are guided to websites to gain more information about Adam Goodes. They work collaboratively to gain a fuller picture of Adam Goodes and then reflect on what they have learnt about being media-savvy consumers.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, The Final Quarter holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field. Learn more about the film here.

We highly recommend that students view the film in its entirety before participating in subsequent lessons. Our Watching the Film lessons are designed to support you in facilitating this process. Given the content, it is also important for teachers to communicate with parents and guardians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students before playing the film and/or engaging with the teaching and learning resources. 

Note: This film may not be suitable for viewing by all young people. Teachers are advised to use their discretion when deciding whether to show this film. If teaching in a context with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, it is imperative that guidance is sought from the Principal and Aboriginal Education Officer (or equivalent) prior to screening the film.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how language can influence perceptions of character.
  • Students understand how the media shapes characters and how aspects of a well-rounded person are presented in simplified forms in order to present a point of view or maintain audience engagement.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingDigital LiteracyEmpathyEthical Understanding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

  • Compare the ways that language and images are used to create character, and to influence emotions and opinions in different types of texts (ACELT1621)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-1A

General capabilities: Literacy, Intercultural Understanding, Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.6, OI,9)

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affects meaning. Students understand how the selection of a variety of language features can influence an audience.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Media Constructions – English – Year 7

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – scaffold student discussion

Resources required:

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

Keywords: media literacy, characterisation, characters, media, news, analysis, The Final Quarter, documentary, Adam Goodes.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand...

  • … how language can influence perceptions of character.
  • … how the media shapes characters and how aspects of a well-rounded person are presented in simplified forms in order to present a point of view or maintain audience engagement.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify tools of characterisation used by the media.
  • … synthesise information to create a short summary.
  • … use visual strategies to convey information.

Teacher content information:

This lesson will be centred around the acclaimed 2019 documentary, The Final Quarter. This film explores the detrimental treatment of AFL star Adam Goodes and the media and community responses. An Aboriginal player, and number 37 for the Sydney Swans, Adam Goodes was singled out for verbal abuse, booing and jeering by spectators from a range of clubs during the last three years of his career in 2013 - 2015, until he retired from the game. 

Because he was one

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "If you can see the invisible, then you can see the possible and provide the opportunities for trust, commitment and ways of empowering others to manage their past, present and future." ~ Ken Wyatt

Media Characters
1. Pick a celebrity or media personality and write down three ways (maximum of three words each time) they could be described.

How might this person feel about being described that way and only that way?

What about them has been ignored or excluded?

What could be some potential impacts of excluding aspects of a person’s personality or identity when describing them?

What aspects were most commonly described by the class? E.g. were the descriptions about how they look, what they do, how they behave or what they say/value?

What do you think this tells us about how we view celebrities?

2. List how we ‘get to know’ people through the media:

Deconstructing Media Characters
3. Look and listen for how these real

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