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Notes for teachers 4: Lower secondary activities

Each of the following activities is based on the Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Lower Secondary Collection. The following extracts have been used:

  • The Jackal, p 5
  • The Drover's Wife, pp 36–37
  • White Australia, p 55
  • Freedom Isn't Just a Word, pp 60–61.

The activities are designed for small group work and whole class discussion in English classes.

They are not designed to be in any particular sequence and teachers may choose to omit one or more activities.

Students handouts should be downloaded for each of the activities.

The Jackal

Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Lower Secondary Collection, p 5
Values focus: Qualities of leadership

Introducing the text

Provide students with a copy of Student Handout 6: The Jackal. Read ‘The Jackal’ aloud to the class and explain to students that this piece of writing belongs to the folktale genre.

Read with students the handout definition of folktales.

Ask students to look out for the way folktale elements are present in this piece.

Exploring the text and Working beyond the text

Read through the activities with the class to ensure that they are clear to students. Have students work on these activities in groups.

The Drover's Wife

Values focus: Personal qualities, values

Introducing the text

Read the extract of ‘The Drover's Wife’ aloud to the class. (When you have completed these activities students may like to hear the whole story.)

Before you read the story to them, discuss with students any unfamiliar vocabulary they may come across, such as: pleuro-pneumonia, the horrors, sundowner, swagman, batten, perambulator, monotony.

White Australia

Values focus: Tolerance, inclusion and diversity

Introducing the text

Before reading this extract with students explain to them that this is not a piece of narrative – it is a piece of informative writing about an aspect of Australian history. You might ask what their expectations are of this sort of writing. When you have finished reading the extract ask students if this expectation has been met. Why, why not?

Freedom Isn't Just a Word – Toan's Story

Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Lower Secondary Collection, pp 60–61
Values focus: Freedom

Introducing the text

Read ‘Freedom Isn't Just a Word’ aloud to the class and discuss the following with students briefly:

  • Explain to students that this is a story about escaping to a free society when all of your freedoms in your own country have been taken away. Ask students to think about what freedom means to them, their families and to Australians generally.
  • Explain to students any difficult concepts they may come across before you read the story to them, such as:
    • the war in Vietnam and the differences between the ideas of communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam;
    • language or concepts in the text such as re-education camps, justify, communists, devastating, 'the Party line', 'the masses', a 'propaganda post', 'the authorities', 'nationalise his home' and 'murdering pirates'.

Democratic values survey

Distribute Student handout 10: Democratic Values Survey

Read through the Donald Horne material with students. Ensure that students understand the meanings of the principles and concepts by providing concrete examples.

Overview | Notes for teachers 1 | Notes for teachers 2 | Notes for teachers 3 | Notes for teachers 4 | Student handout 1 | Student handout 2 | Student handout 3 | Student handout 4 | Student handout 5 | Student handout 6 | Student handout 7 | Student handout 8 | Student handout 9 | Student handout 10

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