Dying to Live - Writing Stories to Changes Minds

Dying to Live - Writing Stories to Changes Minds

Lesson 6 of 6 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • English
  • Persuasive writing
  • Social
  • Disability
  • Equality
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will apply what they have learned about how stories change minds to plan, draft, edit and publish their own story to change people’s minds about the topic of organ and tissue donation. Students watch a short clip from Dying to Live that features the story of Woody and evaluate how their view of organ and tissue donation is affected. They use a range of questions to imagine a character and a setting, and apply their understanding of the dramatic arc to write their own story. Students publish their story and take steps to put their stories into the public domain so that they achieve their goal of changing people’s minds.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • be able to plan, draft, edit and publish a story that features story arc
  • be able to use descriptive language to engage the reader
  • understand more about organ and tissue donation

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • write a story using the story arc as means of engaging the reader
  • use descriptive language to engage the reader
  • integrate information they have researched into their story

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (ACELT1773)
  • Experiment with the ways that language features, image and sound can be adapted in literary texts, for example the effects of stereotypical characters and settings, the playfulness of humour and pun and the use of hyperlink (ACELT1638)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)

Year 10 English:

  • Create literary texts that reflect an emerging sense of personal style and evaluate the effectiveness of these texts (ACELT1814
  • Create literary texts with a sustained ‘voice’, selecting and adapting appropriate text structures, literary devices, language, auditory and visual structures and features for a specific purpose and intended audience (ACELT1815
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756
  • Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (ACELY1757

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-6CEN5-4BEN5-1AEN5-2AEN5-5CEN5-3BENLS-12CENLS-13CENLS-11B 

General capabilitiesLiteracyEthical Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students understand how to use a variety of language features to create different levels of meaning. In creating texts, students demonstrate how manipulating language features and images can create innovative texts. Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They edit for effect, selecting vocabulary and grammar that contribute to the precision and persuasiveness of texts and using accurate spelling and punctuation.

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students show how the selection of language features can achieve precision and stylistic effect. Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, vary vocabulary choices for impact, and accurately use spelling and punctuation when creating and editing texts.

Unit of work: Dying to Live – English – Year 9 & 10

Time required: 160 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guide students through the creative writing process and facilitate class discussion

Resources required


  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • 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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