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 consider the language forms and features of criticism. They work to consider how delivery can impact a criticism, considering elements such as tone, volume and facial expressions. The consideration of both delivery and language choices is scaffolded through multiple viewings of audiovisual texts – both muted and not – to delineate between the two. Students build their critical thinking skills through scaffolded evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a chosen criticism. Finally, they make revisions to a criticism to change the impact on the intended audience.

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 tone impacts an audience.
  • Students understand how nonverbal and verbal communication can be used to criticise.
  • Students understand how language choices can reflect a communicative focus.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingSocial SkillsProblem Finding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 8 English:

  • Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733)
  • Interpret the stated and implied meanings in spoken texts, and use evidence to support or challenge different perspectives (ACELY1730)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-1A

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

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

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: 

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Purposeful Language – English – Year 8

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of creating audiovisual recordings, such as an iPad or camera
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Paul Daley Article (optional)
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: criticism, critical thinking, editing, revision, tone, volume, speaking and listening, documentary, The Final Quarter, Adam Goodes, nonverbal, language.

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 tone impacts an audience.
  • … how nonverbal and verbal communication can be used to criticise.
  • … how language choices can reflect a communicative focus.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify different tones and their differing impacts.
  • … identify different communicative purposes of criticism.
  • … identify the implied meaning in a text.
  • … be able to make edits to a text to change its tone and impact.

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 of the

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "I get criticised every week. I'm used to it. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, but you get used to it.” ~ Adam Goodes

Nonverbal Communication

1. Read the statements below:

  • “This story needed more detail. I don’t think you spent very long on it.”
  • “You never help out around the house.”
  • “You were mean to your brother today.”

What words would you use to describe these statements?

2. Listen to the class speakers and guess what emotion the person is using and provide evidence. Use these sentence stems to guide your feedback:

  • I think they are…. because their voice sounded…
  • I think they are….. because they emphasised the word…
  • I think they are…. because their face was….
  • I think they are... because their hands (or body)...

3. Write definitions for the following terms:

Facial expressions




4. When do we hear or read criticisms? What is the intention of different instances of criticism? Fill in the table with your answe

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