Quick summary: Students evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in the text The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin, which asks whether you would be comfortable living in a utopia if all the world’s burdens were placed on a single child, and reflect on its impact on their personal understanding of the world.
In this lesson, students define if they would ‘walk away from Omelas’, and what that means in the context of today’s society.
Subjects: English, Ethical Understanding.
Year Level: Years 7, 8, 9, 10.
Topics: Ethics, morals, literature, creative writing, critical thinking, worldview.
Teaching Time: 60 minutes.
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Ethics through Literature – The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 English:
- Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1619)
- Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
Syllabus outcomes: EN4-8D, EN4-5C, EN4-2A, EN4-4B
Relevant parts of Year 7 English achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affects meaning. Students explain issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints. They listen for and explain different perspectives in texts. Students create structured and coherent texts for a range of purposes and audiences. When creating and editing texts they demonstrate understanding of grammar, use a variety of more specialised vocabulary and accurate spelling and punctuation.
Year 8 English:
- Explore the ways that ideas and viewpoints in literary texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts may reflect or challenge the values of individuals and groups (ACELT1626)
- Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)
Syllabus outcomes: EN4-8D, EN4-4B
Relevant parts of Year 8 English achievement standards: Students explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to represent different ideas and issues in texts. Students interpret texts. They select evidence from the text to show how events, situations and people can be represented from different viewpoints. Students create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. When creating and editing texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences.
Year 9 English:
- Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)
- 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)
Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-7D, EN5-2A, EN5-1A
Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They understand how interpretations can vary by comparing their responses to texts to the responses of others. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts.
Year 10 English:
- Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)
- Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)
- 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)
Syllabus outcomes: EN5-5C, EN5-7D, EN5-5C, EN5-1A
Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They evaluate other interpretations, analysing the evidence used to support them. Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.
General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Facilitate discussions, guide and challenge student thinking, support students emotionally, scaffold students’ independent work.
- Individual devices (optional)
- Text – The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.
- Student writing materials.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.