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 highly topical lesson, students explore the power of mass movements of people. Using a collaborative approach, they gain insight into how people en masse can wield power and how they may be blocked from achieving their aims. Students analyse the portrayal of ‘people power’ in The Final Quarter, before embarking on their own research into a historical instance of people power. Students are scaffolded to consider both the context of these circumstances and the way they were represented in the media. Ultimately, students gain deep insight into a range of real-world examples of people power being used and consider critically how people power is represented.

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 groups of people can wield power in different ways.
  • Students understand how representations of people power may emphasise their power or powerlessness.
  • Students understand how different historical or social contexts affect people’s use of power and the representation of that power.

21st century skills: 

Community EngagementDigital LiteracyEmpathyEntrepreneurshipInitiativeLeadershipSocial SkillsTeam Work 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Interpret and compare how representations of people and culture in literary texts are drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1633)
  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-7D, EN5-8D

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

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

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Mechanisms Of Power – English – Year 9

Time required: 100+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and online research.

Resources required:

Keywords: research, digital literacy, analysis, visual representations, perspectives, power, community, The Final Quarter, documentary, Adam Goodes, mass, mass movements, people, crowd, collective action.

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 groups of people can wield power in different ways.
  • … how representations of people power may emphasise their power or powerlessness.
  • … how different historical or social contexts affect people’s use of power and the representation of that power.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify sources of, and barriers to, people power.
  • … read and summarise a relevant text and find examples.
  • … find evidence to support their inferences.
  • … research a key issue and present on it.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “We live in a democracy and if enough people get their… campaigning up with sufficient force, then they change markets, they change economics, they change the way that people do things.” ~ Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia

Power Of The People

“The power of the people is greater than the people in power.” - Wael Ghonim

1. Think of examples of ‘people power’ or when large groups of everyday people have attempted, or successfully managed, to wield power.

2. What are the sources and barriers to power for the ‘masses’ (e.g. large groups of everyday people)? Fill in the table below with your answers:

Possible sources of power Possible barriers to power

3. Read this article in your group or pair (your teacher may give you a printed copy):

My group's action:

Summarise what you read:

Write one examp

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