Dying To Live - What is Rhetoric?

Dying To Live - What is Rhetoric?

Lesson 3 of 6 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • English
  • Reading
  • Social
  • Disability
  • Equality
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students develop a deeper understanding of rhetoric, while finding out more about the topic of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. They are introduced to the idea of a viewpoint in a clip from the documentary film Dying to Live, then build on that idea by viewing a clip that explains the origin and purpose of rhetorical language. Students create a mind-map of their understanding of rhetoric, then apply their understanding by analysing the use of rhetoric in a news story.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand rhetoric and some key rhetorical devices
  • understand how rhetoric is used to change minds
  • understand more about organ and tissue donation, and the impact it can have on people’s lives

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain the viewpoint presented in a documentary excerpt and a news story
  • create a mind-map that creates links between ideas presented in a short clip about rhetoric
  • identify and analyse the use of rhetorical language in a news story

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

  • Analyse and explain the ways text structures and language features shape meaning and vary according to audience and purpose (ACELY1721)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723

Year 8 English:

  • Analyse and evaluate the ways that text structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to a text (ACELY1732)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-3BENLS-10BEN4-2AENLS-5AENLS-6AENLS-7A

General capabilities: LiteracyEthical understanding

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of how the choice of language features, images and vocabulary affects meaning. They explain issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints.

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: Students explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used to represent different ideas and issues in texts. Students interpret texts, questioning the reliability of sources of ideas and information. They select evidence from the text to show how events, situations and people can be represented from different viewpoints.

Unit of work: Dying to Live – English – Year 7 & 8

Time required: 90 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion

Resources required


  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical understanding
  • Social skills

Additional info

Dying To Live is a documentary feature film that examines organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia through seven different stories that highlight the social, physical and emotional effects of being on the organ donor waiting list. The film also aims to dispel myths about organ and tissue donation while encouraging family conversations so that family members are aware of their loved ones’ donation intentions. Find out how to screen or view the film here.

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