Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will complete activities to develop narrative writing skills. Students will watch a short clip about a World Traveller and share the journeys they have been on in their lives. Students will plan their own ‘journey’ story using the Hero’s Journey writing frame. They will then draft a narrative and apply the ‘show, don’t tell’ principle. They will work with a peer to reflect on whether they have applied the ‘show, don’t tell’ principle, then reflect individually on their approach to the narrative writing task. This lesson is designed to provide valuable practice for NAPLAN, the national literacy test held in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9*. 

Faber-Castell have long understood the importance of creativity to all people, especially to young people. They are also continuously searching for environmentally friendly processes and high-quality materials to enhance children’s creative experience throughout every development phase. For more information about Faber-Castell, click here.

Learning intention:

  • Students will be able to show character’s feelings and actions without directly stating them.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 English

  • Understand that authors innovate with text structures and language for specific purposes and effects (ACELA1553)
  • Experiment with the ways that language features, image and sound can be adapted in literary texts, for example the effects of stereotypical characters and settings, the playfulness of humour and pun and the use of hyperlink (ACELT1638)
  • 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)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-2A, EN5-4B, EN5-1A.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy.

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students understand how to use a variety of language features to create different levels of meaning. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts. They edit for effect, selecting vocabulary and grammar that contribute to the precision and persuasiveness of texts and using accurate spelling and punctuation. 

Topic: NAPLAN Preparation.

Unit of work: Faber-Castell – NAPLAN Preparation.

Time required: 120 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Some students will require support to develop ideas.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Writing Plan Template. Show Don’t Tell Examples.

Keywords: NAPLAN, English, main character, protagonist, Show Don’t Tell, imply, idiom, simile, figurative language.

*This lesson plan is not an officially endorsed publication of NAPLAN’s creators and administrators – the ACARA body – but is designed to provide practise for the Australian Curriculum’s compulsory NAPLAN testing scheme.

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 will be able to show feelings, actions or events in their narrative writing without directly stating them.

Success criteria: Students can...

  • ...tell the difference between directly stating and implying a feeling, action or event.
  • ...use various forms of figurative language including similes, metaphors and idioms.
  • ...imply meaning in their writing without directly stating the feeling, action or event.

Teacher content information: This lesson draws on a creative video produced by Faber-Castell which shows a passport being decorated. The purpose of this video is to stimulate student creativity by prompting a fictional writing idea which involves a personal journey for the central character.

This lesson links to many of the NAPLAN marking criterion as highlighted in this table: Narrative Writing - Marking Criteria. It focuses most explicitly on the vocabulary criterion in which use of figurative language is a valued skill.

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet [tap] is turned on.” ― Louis L'Amour


Work independently to answer the following questions:

What did you do well in your writing today? 

What would you like to improve as you continue working on this narrative?

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