Coward Punch - It's A Tragedy

Coward Punch - It's A Tragedy

Lesson 5 of 8 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • English
  • Social
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will use the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet as a base text to explore the representation of conflict in society. Also using Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation and a contemporary reflection on the tragedy of the coward punch, students will examine how the issues that Shakespeare warned his audiences about hundreds of years ago are connected to those of the modern day.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the impact of speech and word choice on meaning
  • analyse complex texts and interpret authorial intent
  • identify points of connection between text and film
  • make connections between the issues of the past and present.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • analyse Shakespeare’s language to interpret his message
  • compare Shakespearean text to that of a film adaptation
  • connect Shakespearean themes with the modern context of the coward punch
  • adapt Shakespearean writing to a contemporary message.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)
  • Analyse text structures and language features of literary texts, and make relevant comparisons with other texts (ACELT1772)
  • Create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (ACELT1773)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-6C, EN5-7D

General capabilities: Literacy 

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: 
Students analyse and explain how images, vocabulary choices and language features distinguish the work of individual authors. They evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. Students understand how interpretations can vary by comparing their responses to texts to the responses of others. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work STOP the Coward Punch: English – Years 7 to 10

Time required: 120 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – organise students into groups and facilitate class discussion

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking

Additional info

These resources have been designed in partnership with Danny Green's STOP the Coward's Punch campaign.

Danny Green’s STOP the Coward Punch campaign was started in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness of the devastating effects of the coward punch on the community, including the physical and mental scars survivors, families and friends are left with for life.

STOP the Coward Punch believes in the right of all people to enjoy themselves, safely and free from violence. With support from entertainers, athletes, community leaders, politicians and everyday Australians, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the simple precautions we – as a community and as individuals – can take to ensure safe and enjoyable outings and, ultimately, reduce the number of coward punch occurrences in our communities.

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