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Duration and pathways: Using this unit in the classroom

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

There are a number of different ways you can explore and adapt the unit, including adapting the lesson sequences and choosing different supportive texts to illustrate literary devices and illustrative techniques.

Sequences 1–5

The first five learning sequences allow students to build their understanding of the organisational frameworks and language features of historical accounts and the specific literary devices that have been used in the focus text to evoke responses to a topical issue.

Sequences 6–10

These sequences support students in moving from the social purpose of writing to entertain to writing to persuade. Some of the literary devices that have been identified and analysed in the previous sequences can be translated into the crafting of persuasive texts that call for social action (for example, when students use figurative language in recounts they are able to transfer this skill to their persuasive writing). Students will also build their field of knowledge in relation to Macquarie Island so they are able to respond to this environmental issue from an informed stance. The inquiry process provides opportunities to collect information from a variety of sources such as weather maps, timelines and satellite images. This series of lessons specifically addresses several of the key inquiry questions in the Australian Curriculum: Geography.

Sequences 11–12

These sequences include the culminating project and summative assessment task. Students will transfer their understanding of the interconnectedness between environments and human actions. Using the information literacy approach they used in researching Macquarie Island, the students will now engage in social action in their local area. These sequences address both Geographical Knowledge and Understanding and Geographical Inquiry and Skills in the Australian Curriculum and are contextualised within local perspectives that are personally significant to students.

Assessment

The formative and summative assessment tasks require students to produce two texts: one factual and one persuasive. In order to complete the first task the students need to have a deep understanding of historical accounts (writing to recount), the literary devices that are used to evoke emotional responses in the reader and the way figurative language is used to create images. The second task requires the students to be able to transfer the research/inquiry process they undertook while studying the environmental impact on Macquarie Island as they craft a persuasive text, presenting logical and cumulative arguments for why their chosen environment should be saved.