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Pathways for analysis of a life story


Teacher-led group with shared life stories

Small group support with shared life story

Independent analysis of unique life story

Degrees of independence

This pathway is designed primarily for students who find it difficult to settle on a task, or who have not yet consistently met Year 9 Achievement Standards. 

This pathway is designed primarily for students who enjoy and benefit from working in a group, and who may be anywhere on the spectrum of achievement of Year 9 Achievement Standards.

This pathway is available to those students who generally achieve at or above the Year 9 Achievement Standards. 

Life story

Teacher selected.
Recommended: ‘This (Singleton) Life’ or South American Surfer

The group may choose the teacher selected life stories or if they prefer each student may choose their own life story.

Individually selected.


Establish a common deadline for the three groups and ensure that students understand that you require an active URL (they must check it) or a scan or photocopy of any print life story. It is important that the deadline is short, given that students will be needing time to work on Assessment task 2.


Depending on school and class circumstances and availability, it may be advisable to organise for break-out spaces or supervision of one or more individuals or groups in alternative spaces such as the library.

Teacher time

With a class of approximately 30 students, the time demands on a teacher viewing and reading so many life stories may be daunting or even prohibitive. This pathways approach not only has the benefit of supporting students most in need, but also enables you to study closely a smaller number of life stories to assist in the process of assessment. It is suggested that some time is taken to view or read sections or all of the small group life stories to ensure that students are on track, and this may further reduce time for assessment beyond the classroom.

Life story matrix

The Life story matrix worksheet is a useful starting point for analysis and students should be encouraged to use the final column of the matrix with the story they choose for this assessment task.

Activity 1

This (Singleton) Life
Introduce these key words: monozygotic, attuned, confidantes, crises/crisis, milestone, presence/presents, vex, facets.
Invite students to read or listen to ‘This (singleton) life’ without too many concerns other than for comprehension of the story’s meaning.

Identify the textual features that make this a life story (using the definition from Sequence 1).

Interrogate the text using the categories and questions from the Life story matrix worksheet.

Students in this pathway may elect to join in Activity 1; alternatively they could follow the same process in groups using the same or different life stories. 
If using their own stories they may be guided to follow the same process described for the teacher-led group.

This group works individually without reference to activities described in this table. Ensure that students have closely read the task and continue to follow the rubric to ensure that they meet the demands of the task within the time frame

Activity 2

Repeat the Activity 1 process for South American Surfer

These groups may join in the viewing and/or discussion with teacher-led group viewing.

Activity 3
See Assessment task 1 rubric

Close reading of Assessment task 1 and clarifying criteria. Students to select which of the two life stories they will use for the assessment task.

These groups may join in this activity if they want further teacher guidance.

Activity 4
See Assessment task 1 rubric

Open discussion and note taking by students in preparation for their independent responses to the demands of Assessment task 1.

These groups do not participate in Activity 4 but work separately from the teacher-led group.

Activity 5 for all students in the class

Assist the students on a one-to-one basis or in small groups to advance their responses to the demands of the assessment task.

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