Activity Introduction

emma and destinyQuick summary: This lesson emphasises student voice and choice and scaffolds the process of increasing their awareness of youth homelessness within the community, identifying a health and wellbeing problem or issue, forming an inquiry question and taking action to address the issue. Students apply the knowledge and understanding they have gained throughout the Finding Out section of this unit to identify and address one of the social issues that lies within the broader issue of youth homelessness. They are given the opportunity to remember the sections of THE OASIS that affected them, then name the health and wellbeing issues that are raised in the documentary. Students frame the issues as questions to be responded to, then help each other to think about an action that could be taken to address the issue. Students then form project groups based on common interests, with a view to planning and delivering a social action project to to enhance health and wellbeing. This is the first of three social action project lessons, all of which provide a framework for developing, planning and carrying out social action.

Key ideas to explore:

  • Homelessness is an issue that can be faced by young people.
  • The reasons that young people experience homelessness are varied.
  • The issue of homelessness is multi-faceted and complicated.
  • Students have the ability to make positive change in their own world.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Learning Area: Health and Physical Education

Content descriptions: 

  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and well being of their communities (ACPPS096)
  • Plan and evaluate new and creative interventions that promote their own and others’ connection to community and natural and built environments (ACPPS097)

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Literacy, Personal and Social Capability.

Syllabus OutcomesPDHPE5.6, PDHPE5.7, PDHPE5.8, PDHPE5.9, PDHPE5.14.

Topic: THE OASIS, Social Issues

Unit of work: The Oasis – HPE

Time required: 90 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 and access to THE OASIS documentary on or mindmeister (if desired). Coloured A4 paper, Blu-Tack, butcher’s paper and sticky-notes. 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Home, homelessness, youth, health, wellbeing, The Oasis, social action, community, project

Acknowledgement: This resource has been adapted from ‘Teaching Social Issues Through English’ developed with English Teachers Association NSW and ‘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

emma at oasisTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand that they are capable of taking action to address the social issues that exist in their world.

Teacher content information: Student voice and choice is key in this series of Social Action lessons. Students will identify a social issue that they would like to address, brainstorm how they are going to address the issue, plan a social action project and carry out the social action. Enabling students to take social action will engage them more deeply in the learning process - they focus on the issues that the class has been exploring throughout the unit and take ownership of their learning. This social action project will also encourage students to connect with and create change in their local and broader community, and creates excellent opportunities for students to develop real-world skills. Most importantly, the social action section of this unit enables students to develop the understanding that the status quo does no

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Alone we can do so little, together, we can do so much – Helen Keller

1. Identify the specific issue related to youth homelessness that you would like to address.

What section of THE OASIS do you remember the most? Describe the details using the 5Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why):

What factors contributed to the character you remember experiencing homelessness?

2. Now, come up with a Big Question that can be addressed by thinking about the issues you've raised.

Your question should identify WHO will take action, HOW they’ll take action, and WHAT will change. In order to do that, use the following template to draft your question:

"What would it take for (person/group) to (action to be taken) so that (describe the change that will occur)?"

For example:

  • What would it take for our class (group) to help a Homeless Youth Shelter (action) so that young people experiencing homelessness can access support services and get off the streets (change)?
  • What would it
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