Voices of Chasing Asylum - Rhetorical Voices

Voices of Chasing Asylum - Rhetorical Voices

Lesson 5 of 8 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 11 - 12
  • English
  • Persuasive writing
  • Text Analysis
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Homelessness
  • Human Rights
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students examine perspectives on people seeking asylum and offshore detention policies by considering rhetorical voices, and analyse how the devices of rhetoric are used by these voices to persuade audiences. Using a variety of thinking and analytical tools, students will refine their knowledge skills and evaluate rhetorical devices in news media texts. In doing so, students will enhance and deepen their understanding of the power of language.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • learn about rhetoric devices and how they can be used to represent particular perspectives on human experiences
  • understand that the composition of persuasive texts are influenced by purpose and context
  • understand how ideas, values and attitudes about issues are expressed in texts and explain the impact on audiences.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 11 English:

Compare texts in a variety of contexts, mediums and modes by:

  • explaining the relationship between purpose and context (ACEEN021)

Investigate the representation of ideas, attitudes and voices in texts including:

  • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices, for example, emphasis, emotive language and imagery in the construction of argument (ACEEN025)

Reflect on their own and others’ texts by:

  • analysing the values and attitudes expressed in texts (ACEEN038)
  • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers (ACEEN040)

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority:

Unit of work: Voices of Chasing Asylum – access the unit overview here.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion and assess student work.

Resources required

  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet
  • Device capable of presenting a website to the class
  • Rhetoric Factsheet; Stop the bastardry of Australia’s offshore detention centres; Australia can’t go soft on offshore processing of asylum-seekers (print one of each per student or access digitally via Student Worksheet)
  • Highlighters (3 colours) for annotation activity (optional)


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

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

Additional info

Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies through the personal accounts of people seeking asylum and whistleblowers who tried to work within the system. To watch the documentary, stream it on Kanopy and Clickview or purchase the DVD at the ATOM Education Shop.

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