Activity Introduction

WOW Hero Frame 3Quick summary: The Worlds of Work unit connects secondary school students of all ages with life beyond school by investigating the question: “What does it take to succeed in life and work?” In this lesson, students will watch a short video about the benefits of good communication in the workplace and then explore their initial thoughts on the topic in a stand-on-the-line activity. They will consider the different elements of face-to-face communication and work in small groups to develop positive communication skills. Students will then watch a second short film that highlights what effective handshakes look like and experiment with their own handshake. Finally, students will focus on the importance of positive communication in the world of work.

Enterprise Skills

These are transferable skills that enable young people to engage with a complex world and navigate the challenges they will inherit. They’re not just for entrepreneurs; they are skills that are required in many jobs. They have been found to be a powerful predictor of long-term job success.


Communication skills


Digital literacy


Presentation skills



 Who could teach this lesson?

Any teacher who:

  • Believes that the end-game of secondary education is to prepare young people to thrive in the world of work
  • Thinks that general capabilities should be part of each school subject
  • Is feeling unsure about how to teach real-world skills in their classroom
  • Understands that school is not practice – it’s real training for what’s in store after 
  • Wants students to find real connections between subject content (technical skills) and the general skills they need to be able use those technical skills.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

This lesson can be used with all learning areas of the Australian Curriculum, however it has been explicitly mapped to the English and Work Studies content strands.

Content descriptions:

Year 7 English

  • Use interaction skills when discussing and presenting ideas and information, selecting body language, voice qualities and other elements, (for example music and sound) to add interest and meaning (ACELY1804)

Year 8 English

  • Analyse and explain how language has evolved over time and how technology and the media have influenced language use and forms of communication (ACELY1729)
  • Use interaction skills for identified purposes, using voice and language conventions to suit different situations, selecting vocabulary, modulating voice and using elements such as music, images and sound for specific effects (ACELY1808)

Year 9 English

  • Understand that roles and relationships are developed and challenged through language and interpersonal skills (ACELA1551)
  • Listen to spoken texts constructed for different purposes, for example to entertain and to persuade, and analyse how language features of these texts position listeners to respond in particular ways (ACELY1740)
  • Use interaction skills to present and discuss an idea and to influence and engage an audience by selecting persuasive language, varying voice tone, pitch, and pace, and using elements such as music and sound effects (ACELY1811)

Year 10 English

  • Understand how language use can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower or disempower people (ACELA1564)

Year 9 Work Studies

  • Describe the implications of individual learning preferences for learning at home, school, work and in the community (ACWSCL002)
  • Identify the attitudes and skills required for self-directed and lifelong learning (ACWSCL003)
  • Plan and implement strategies and processes to improve their learning and enhance the potential to realise their aspirations and personal wellbeing (ACWSCL005)
  • Explain the importance of teamwork and collaboration in school, community and work-related contexts (ACWSCL009)
  • Identify types of entrepreneurial behaviours and their opportunities for application to 21st century work and enterprise (ACWSCL010)
  • Recognise the importance of self-awareness in career and life design (ACWSCL013)

Year 10 Work Studies

  • Explain the range of skills and attributes necessary to work effectively in the 21st century (ACWSCL025)

General capabilities: Literacy, ICT Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Topic: Enterprise Learning

Unit of work: Worlds of Work

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – facilitate student 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. Printed copies of Parts of Communication Diagrams for each group. Communication Pie Chart and Communication Pie Chart with statistics presentations. Two sheets of paper – one with AGREE and one with DISAGREE written on it, masking tape or length of rope/string.

Keywords: communication, voice, body language, tone, presentation.

fya_logo_RED_ mediumThis lesson has been developed in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians.

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


Teacher Worksheet

WOW Hero frame 7Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will be aware of the elements that make up face-to-face communication. Students will understand how to communicate positively and the benefits of being able to do so.

Essential questions:

  • What is positive communication?
  • What are the different aspects of communication?
  • How can communication help me?
  • How is communication related to the world of work?


Teacher content information: Work has long been important for the livelihood, dignity and happiness of humankind. We know that work helps us meet our most basic and complex needs, providing a path towards financial security, mental and physical health and personal dignity and meaning. For the past century, the prospect of a good job that pays a fair wage has been part of Australia’s promise to our young people. By many measures, Australia has continued to deliver on its promise. We have enjoyed relatively strong economic growth, high wages and low levels of unemployment

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success.


1. We are constantly communicating a message and it’s up to us to decide what that message is.

What’s one thing that you learned about communication in this lesson?

What are two ways that you are thinking about communicating differently?

What are three benefits of communicating positively when in the world of work?

2. Reflect on the enterprise skills you used in this lesson by filling in the table below. You can use this Enterprise Skills factsheet to support your answer.

In relation to this enterprise skill ------> Communication Presentation skills
When in this lesson did you practise this skill?
What could you do to further master this skill?


Traditionally, good performance is thought to result from positive thoughts … but what if we could influence our thoughts and performance by changing our body language? With your pa

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