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 analyse and evaluate real-world defences used by people in the film, The Final Quarter. Students will be prompted to consider the communicative purpose of language used to defend themselves and/or others and when they have seen or heard defences. They will then work to analyse and compare a range of defences that use different tactics. Students will be supported to become critical thinkers, through analysing potential audience responses. They will consider the nuances involved in defences, before ultimately creating their own criteria for evaluating a defence.

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 the conceptual features of a defence.
  • Students understand how defences can focus on intentions, actions and impacts.
  • Students understand what makes an effective defence.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingSocial Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 8 English:

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)
  • Recognise and explain differing viewpoints about the world, cultures, individual people and concerns represented in texts (ACELT1807)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-2A, EN4-8D

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: Students interpret texts, questioning the reliability of sources of ideas and information. They select evidence from the text to show how events, situations and people can be represented from different viewpoints. They listen for and identify different emphases in texts, using that understanding to elaborate on discussions.

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: 65 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

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

Keywords: analysis, critical thinking, comparison, evaluation, speaking and listening, audiovisual, documentary, The Final Quarter, Adam Goodes, defense, defence, language, defending.

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:

  • … the conceptual features of a defence.
  • … how defences can focus on intentions, actions and impacts.
  • … what makes an effective defence.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different defences.
  • … predict and describe potential audience responses to a defence.
  • … discuss how verbal and nonverbal features of a defence may impact an audience.

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 most acclaimed players in the AF

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Types of Defences

1. Choose from the below scenarios and write a defence.

  • You have been caught plagiarising your assignment.
  • You and your friend were late to class.
  • You have taken your sibling’s toy.

Underline which words you would emphasise and add three gestures or facial expressions you would include and where you would include them.

2. Consider the below ‘types of defence’ and imagine a scenario where each could be used and the strengths/weaknesses of the defence in that scenario.

Type of defence Example of a situation when this might be used Strengths and weaknesses of this type of defence
Blame someone else
Claim it was an accident
Explain how the consequences were unintended
Explain that it actually had good consequences
Justify (give reasons for) the action

Defences i

- 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.