Activity Introduction

squat-photoframeQuick summary: Students explore and compare the relationship between empathetic response, personal values and social action. In a free-writing exercise, they consider their own view of the issue of homelessness and contrast it with their analysis of the viewpoint put forward in Ben Harper’s song ‘Homeless Child’. Students then find and view three sections from THE OASIS that highlight the manner in which Paul Moulds engages with those around him, and work collaboratively to create a mind map that outlines the influence of Paul on the people he engages with. Students create a bio-poem that further explores Paul Moulds, his approach to his work and life, and the effect that he has on those who encounter him.

Key ideas to explore:

  • Representations of social issues can be used to either engender or confront attitudes and values.
  • The relationship between empathetic response, values and social action.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English

  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742)
  • Explore and explain the combinations of language and visual choices that authors make to present information, opinions and perspectives in different texts (ACELY1745)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

Year 11 English

Unit 1

  • analysing how language choices are made for different purposes and in different contexts using appropriate metalanguage; for example, personification, voice-over, flashback, salience (ACEEN002)
  • evaluating the impact of description and imagery, including figurative language, and still and moving images in digital and multimodal texts (ACEEN007)
  • purpose, taking into account that a text’s purpose is often open to debate (ACEEN008)
  • combining visual, spoken and written elements where appropriate (ACEEN013)
  • investigating the impact and uses of imaginative, interpretive and persuasive texts (ACEEN020)

Unit 2

  • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences (ACEEN024)
  • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices, for example, emphasis, emotive language and imagery in the construction of argument (ACEEN025)
  • analysing how attitude and mood are created, for example, through the use of humour in satire and parody (ACEEN027)
  • using imaginative, interpretive and persuasive elements for different purposes, contexts and audiences (ACEEN032)
  • experimenting with text structures, language features and multimodal devices (ACEEN033)

Year 12 English

Unit 3

  • analysing language, structural and stylistic choices (ACEEN041)
  • making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)
  • using and experimenting with text structures and language features related to specific genres for particular effects (ACEEN052)

Unit 4

  • undertaking close analysis of texts (ACEEN060)
  • analysing content, purpose and choice of language (ACEEN063)
  • exploring other interpretations and aspects of context to develop a considered response (ACEEN065)
  • the ways points of view and values are represented (ACEEN067)
  • using appropriate language and stylistic features to sustain a personal voice and point of view (ACEEN069)

Syllabus OutcomesEN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-8D.


General capabilitiesCritical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Literacy.

Topic: THE OASIS, Social Issues

Unit of workTHE OASIS – English

Time required: 60 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Access to THE OASIS documentary on Vimeo. Bubble.usmindmeister or similar to display students’ ideas. 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, web 2.0 thinking tools.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: House, home, homelessness, youth, THE OASIS, empathy, persistence, poetry.

Acknowledgement: This resource has been adapted from ‘Teaching Social Issues Through English’ developed with the English Teachers Association NSW and the ‘Youth Homelessness Matters Resource’ developed by Janice Atkin. You can find these resources here.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

trent, emma and destinyTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand that representations of social issues can be used to either engender or confront attitudes and values. They recognise, compare and explore the relationship between empathetic response, values and social action and reflect upon their own responses to the issues of youth homelessness and marginalisation.

Teacher content information: This lesson is based on THE OASIS documentary, which raises awareness of youth homelessness, celebrates the resilience of young people who are experiencing homelessness in Australia and empowers the next generation of young people to take action to prevent youth homelessness in the future.

Young people often become homeless because of family breakdown, often stemming from parental conflicts or a collapse of their relationship with a husband/wife or partner. Some young people who are living independently become homeless because they can’t afford living expenses such as rent. Being homeless i

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty" - Mother Teresa

1. Listen to Ben Harper’s 'Homeless Child'.


Then, free-write for five minutes in response to the following:

What view does the singer have of young people who are homeless and does that view match yours? Ensure that you support your assertions by describing the reasons for your views.

2. Next, find three scenes from THE OASIS that show your favourite Paul Moulds moments. They could be clips in which he does something that you really like, a time when he was strong for the person he was with at the time, or when he showed that he too has vulnerabilities and is human.

The clips can be found here.

Or, click here to find a set of interviews that feature Paul Moulds that give you a more

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