Coward Punch -  The Body's Reaction To Danger

Coward Punch - The Body's Reaction To Danger

Lesson 3 of 5 in this unit

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

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will use what they have learnt about body systems to investigate an issue in society – the coward punch. They will review the nature and complexity of all major body systems before focusing on the nervous and endocrine systems and their role in reacting to situations of fear or anger.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • revise the various body systems, their purposes and interactions
  • understand the stress response of the body associated with anger and fear via examination of the adrenaline pathway.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • identify the components and describe the functions of the major body systems
  • describe the physiological changes the body exhibits when under stress
  • identify the mechanism by which these changes occur.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 9 Science:

  • Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-14LW

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: 
Students analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work STOP the Coward Punch: Science – Years 9 & 10

Time required: 75 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will moderate class discussions, run group activities and demonstrations, as well as facilitate learning around a topic of violence which will require sensitivity and nuance

Resources required

  • Device capable of presenting video and images to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student


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

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Problem solving
  • Social skills

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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