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5 — Assessment task 1: Writing a historical account

This assessment task allows you to capture and monitor what students have learnt to date about Macquarie Island (for example, its location, weather conditions and history). It assesses what the students have learnt about the organisational framework and language features of writing that recounts events in history. In Sequences 1, 2 and 3 the students analysed historical accounts as a whole class and in small groups. They identified the organisational framework and language features of this text form and compared journal entries using these features as a checklist. The students have discussed the themes, use of voice, literary devices and functions of complex sentences and are encouraged to include this learning in their writing. They have also read the text Tanglewood, and have discussed the descriptive language in the book.

Drawing of pencil tip and notebook fragment on a green background

Above: Illustration by Jan Gillbank


Introduce the assessment task to the students, explaining that they will be creating a historical account for a specific time period from the perspective of a sealer, shipmate, captain, surgeon, or any other stakeholder who was present on the island up until 1938.

Activity 1: Writing a historical account as a journal entry

The students are to choose a time period from the timeline and write a journal entry from Macquarie Island that incorporates language reflective of that time and makes reference to the state of the environment and particular events in that time period. Construct a checklist with the students, identifying the criteria that will be used to assess their writing. As a guide, the checklist could look like this:

Feature Yes you have it! This is an area to work on

Direct recounting is evident (it is a primary source of information)



Orientation includes reference to a time period



Events are recounted in chronological order



Personification is used to enhance the journal entry



Metaphor is used to enhance the journal entry



One of the issues relevant to Macquarie Island is included (for example, sustainability, environment, interconnectedness or change)



Tense is consistent and appropriate



A variety of sentence types (including complex) is used accurately, appropriately and for effect












* Additional criteria could be added to reflect the students’ learning and needs (for example, appropriate use of paragraphing and use of sustained metaphors).

See Assessment task 1 for more information. ACELT1798ACELY1704