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Save one island, save them all

A dark-coloured sandy beach in a curved bay with hills and a bluff covered in vegetation, with penguins and a lone human by the water’s edge

Above: View over Macquarie Island beach, photo by M Murphy, public domain image, no copyright

About this unit:

This unit of work focuses on the hybrid text One Small Island by Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch, to explore the impact of human factors on the environment of Macquarie Island. More

Duration and sequence pathways:

The unit of work is designed around 12 lesson sequences, which are divided into three main sections: analysing a historical account (a journal), crafting a text that persuades the reader, and engaging in social action related to the students’ learning within this unit. More information

Resources used:

See a list of resources used in each sequence, plus additional teaching resources.

Unit writers:

Kelly Booker and Jantiena Batt

Australian Curriculum: English Year 5

Sequence 1: Predicting and responding to text

Sequence 2: Analysing a historical account

Sequence 3: Analysing multiple journals and creating a timeline

Sequence 4: Descriptive language

Sequence 5: Assessment task 1: Writing a historical account

Sequence 6: What does Macquarie Island look like today?

Sequence 7: Radio broadcast

Sequence 8: Introduction to persuasive texts

Sequence 9: Jointly constructing a persuasive text

Sequence 10: Interactive writing

Sequence 11: Research of a local environment

Sequence 12: Assessment task 2: Writing a persuasive text

Australian Curriculum: English Year 5

How Cross-curriculum priorities relate to this unit

This unit of work embeds the Cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability, focusing on the actions undertaken to improve sustainability in both individual and collective endeavours shared across local and global communities (in Sequences 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10). The call for social action ensures that students are aware that they can have an impact on the way humans interact with each other and the environment (in Sequences 9, 11 and 12). The focus on developing the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living ensures a futures-oriented perspective throughout this unit of work (in Sequences 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12).

Australian Curriculum: English Year 5

How General Capabilities relate to this unit

Throughout the unit there is a strong focus on the General Capabilities of Literacy and Critical and creative thinking. Students will use their literacy skills to interpret, analyse and create a variety of fictional and factual texts. They will be challenged to think critically and creatively as they explore and create their own written texts that require logic, imagination and innovation.

In Sequences 2, 3, 4 and 5 students explore Ethical understanding as they demonstrate the ways in which language can be used to position the reader and that literary devices can have positive or negative connotations.

Throughout the sequences students have the opportunity to demonstrate Personal and social capability as they work collaboratively on a variety of tasks. Finally, students are provided with a number of opportunities to use Information and communication technology (ICT) resources (in Sequences 6, 7, 11 and 12).

Curriculum summary for this unit:

These summary tables provide links to Year 5 Content Descriptions across the three strands of Literature, Literacy and Language and sub-strands with links to relevant elaborations, sequences and activities, with links also to the Australian Curriculum: Geography.

Rich assessment tasks:

Students will work in small groups to plan and create an informative text and a narrative text, using the design elements of multimodal texts.