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Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

4 — Protest, respect and identity

Hands in a crowd holding small flags over their heads, with the Aboriginal flag, Australian flag and a glimpse of the Torres Strait Islander flag to the right

Above: Aboriginal and Australian flags waved during the Stolen Generation Apology. Source: Tim Barker/ Getty Images.

White Australia has a Black History (1988)

In this learning sequence, which comprises Assessment task 1, the students explore how protest can be integral to identity. They engage in activities that allow them to assess and reject their own and others’ prejudiced beliefs, de-emphasise racial characteristics and develop empathy for the plight of others and their reasons for protesting.

The students engage with a range of texts, reflecting on how they appeal to logic, feeling and ethical behaviour, how different representations of Indigenous issues engender or confront values, and the relationship between response, values and protest. In this learning sequence the students construct an essay and engage in peer and self assessment.

Activity 1: Logos, pathos and ethos

Discuss with the class the different ways texts position readers and viewers to respond. Response can be based on logos (logic), pathos (feeling) and ethos (ethics). This applies particularly to non-fiction texts. Divide the class into groups of five and allocate each group a text, from the suggestions below, to read and discuss. In this activity the students will identify the purpose, audience and context of each text, its perspective and the language features it uses to convey its message.

Give each group of five students five cards, each of which has one of five phrases at the top (historical context, social issue, logical argument, emotional appeal, call to action). Distribute the cards randomly within each group and tell the students they have five minutes to produce a short oral presentation on that aspect of the topic, which they will then give to the other four members of their group. To assist in their presentations, underneath each heading include some pointers. For example, for historical context, the card might say:

After the preparation time, stop the students and tell them they will give feedback on each other’s presentations in their groups, using a traffic-light strategy. The traffic-light strategy works like this:

Members of each group give their presentation to the group in alphabetical order. No feedback is given within the group until all five presentations are completed. Thus, each member of the group judges four presentations and has feedback from their four peers on their presentation.

Activity 2: Formative assessment – preparing for Assessment task 1

Using the text reflection and analysis from the previous activity, the students will explain, in 400–600 words, what they have learnt about protest, respect and identity though their study of two texts related to the importance of Indigenous culture to Australian heritage.

Ask the students to form groups of four and prepare a concept map that responds to the demands of the prompt. The concept map will include terms, knowledge of writing forms and content from the texts considered. Links between these elements are important in the map. Split the groups into pairs – one pair stays with the concept map and the other discusses concept maps that have been developed by students in other groups, focusing especially on the linkages and connections. The students rotate through these groups. 

Conduct a class discussion where the students as a class group report on terms, ideas and links, and whether they are good or confusing. Clarify any concerns they may have.

Reconvene the students in groups of four and ask them to write down between three and five assessment criteria for an answer to the question. Finally, as a whole class, draw up a final list of criteria, publish these and ask the students to prepare for the task and write the response.

Activity 3: Formative assessment – the task itself and after the task 

In this activity the students write their responses and review those of others. This provides opportunities for both peer and self assessment.

Ask the students to write their extended response. Collect the responses and redistribute them randomly to the students, instructing them to identify how the answers met the criteria.

It is likely in this activity that students will be reminded of their own particular strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the student whose work they are reading.

The activities in this learning sequence are based on activities in Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Clare Lee, Bethan Marshall and Dylan William (eds) (2003) Assessment for Learning: Putting it into practice