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 lesson, students will examine the use and power of emotive language to persuade others. They will firstly connect language to emotive responses through drama. Then they will examine the use of emotive language to praise and criticise Adam Goodes’ contribution to AFL. In a collaborative activity designed to test students’ writing abilities, they will aim to write using only facts or only emotive language to persuade an audience. This will enhance their final reflection on the role of emotive language in a persuasive text.

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 will explain how language can influence perceptions.
  • Students will describe the role of emotive language in persuading an audience.
  • Students will ascertain how emotive language is used alongside other techniques to construct an argument.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingFlexibility

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, Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding

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 – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Devices for students to create an audiovisual text (optional).

Related Professional Development: Add partnered courses, if they are part of the project. If not, erase this line. 

Keywords: emotive language, persuasive texts, persuasive techniques, 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.
  • … the role of emotive language in persuading an audience.
  • … how emotive language is used alongside other techniques to construct an argument.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … connect their own emotional responses to language experiences.
  • … identify examples of emotive language and imagery in an audiovisual text designed to inform, entertain and persuade.
  • … differentiate between factual and emotive appeals and separate the two in their own writing in order to reflect on their usage.
  • … use a mentor text to guide their own writing and to gain appropriate language techniques.

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 Go

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "...emotional framing is both frequent and extensive across a range of news reportage." ~ Paul Corcoran, University of Adelaide

Emotive Language

1. List some emotion words in this word bank: 

2. Define 'emotive language' and provide examples:


Adam Goodes’ Headlines

3. Underline any words in the headlines that you think are emotive. Then, write down the emotions these words or phrases inspire.


“Why Adam Goodes is an inspired and inspiring choice for ‘Australian of the Year’”
Emotions: proud of Australia/Adam Goodes, patriotism, motivation

“Adam Goodes puts gong to work in racism battle”

“Prejudice the making of a proud First Australian”

“Victim Adam Goodes just crying wolf over war dance”

“So an imaginary spear is more terrifying than racism. Really?”

Deconstructing Emotive Appeals In The Final Quarter

4. Watch The Final Quarter trai

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