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 explore the power of words and diverse viewpoints by investigating an incident in which a spectator at an AFL football match referred to Adam Goodes using a racial slur. By considering the position of each individual involved, and the media representation of this issue, students evaluate the impact of this situation on each participant. The lesson prompts students to view and respond to a visual text and newspaper headlines, thinking critically to develop their own opinion on the issue. They then present their perspective by writing a news headline that describes their own viewpoint.

Students view excerpts from the acclaimed 2019 documentary, The Final Quarter, as a starting point to brainstorm health, safety and wellbeing in the context of sport, school and life. Students consider the impact of racist behaviour on wellbeing.

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:

  • … that words have power and should be used carefully.
  • … the power of words in context.
  • … that what might feel like a joke for one person, can be hurtful for another.
  • … the impacts of casual racism.
  • … how the media presents points of view through newspaper headlines.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingSocial Skills         

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 English:

  • Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts (ACELT1608)
  • Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502)
  • Recognise that ideas in literary texts can be conveyed from different viewpoints, which can lead to different kinds of interpretations and responses (ACELT1610)

Years 5 & 6 Health and Physical Education

  • Recognise how media and important people in the community influence personal attitudes, beliefs, decisions and behaviours (ACPPS057)

Syllabus outcomes: EN3-8D, DMS3.2

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

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.5, OI.6, OI.9)

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: 

Students explain how text structures assist in understanding the text. They understand how language features, images and vocabulary influence interpretations of characters, settings and events.

They develop and explain a point of view about a text, selecting information, ideas and images from a range of resources.

They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives. 

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 HPE achievement standards: 

Students explain the influence of people and places on identities. They recognise the influence of emotions on behaviours and discuss factors that influence how people interact.

They examine how physical activity, celebrating diversity and connecting to the environment support community wellbeing and cultural understanding.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Indigenous Education, Social Issues. 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Exposing Truth. Embracing Diversity – Years 5 & 6

Time required: 95 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion with sensitivity to students’ feelings and experience (in relation to racial discrimination).

Resources required:

Keywords: Indigenous, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, race, resilience, sport, Adam Goodes, The Final Quarter, documentary, AFL, media, equal, equity, equality, racial vilification, racism, bullying.

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...

  • ... that words have power and should be used carefully.
  • ... the power of words in context.
  • ... that what might feel like a joke for one person, can be hurtful for another.
  • ... the impacts of casual racism.
  • ... how the media presents points of view through newspaper headlines.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … synthesise information from different parts of a text to identify the key message.
  • … participate in a group conversation to words and contexts.
  • ... form their own opinion on a divisive issue.
  • ... construct a newspaper headline.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "All I’m here to do is tell you about my experiences and hope you choose to be aware of your actions and interactions so that together we can eliminate racism.” ~ Adam Goodes

1. The Power of Words

In the first column, write each word that your teacher reads out, one per row.
In the second column, write the first thing you think about in regards to this word.

WORD THOUGHT (definition, memory, sentence)


WORD THOUGHT (definition, memory, sentence)

2. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter:

Eddie's King Kong Comment_short (

Watch this clip from The Final Quarter:

Reaction to Eddie's Comment (

“To me Eddie’s comments are reflective of common attitudes that we as a society face. To me Australia is very casual with racism” - Harry O’Brien

“The casual discrimination of not just of colour, but…

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