This lesson introduces students to the concept of story arcs, and how they are used to create intrigue and interest in the audience. Students consider their favourite stories and the story arc that is followed by those stories. Students then consider a story arc diagram and in small groups, apply their understanding by plotting the story arc of Tommy throughout THE OASIS, focusing specifically on his actions and emotions. Students then use quotes and images from THE OASIS to visually represent the arc of Tommy’s story, and recognise that in overcoming the obstacles he faces throughout his life, he is an everyday hero.
Note: This lesson can be referred to when the social action section of the unit is reached – when students take social action they will use the concept of a story arc to encourage others to care about their action. They will use their knowledge and understanding of a story arc to create their own around their social action project. The empathy that students practise during this lesson will guide their approach in their social action project.
Key ideas to explore:
- Authors can use a formula to create a story about a character.
- Heroes and what they have to overcome aren’t always the same.
- A story arc can change the way that an audience interprets a message.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Year 9 English:
- Analyse text structures and language features of literary texts, and make relevant comparisons with other texts (ACELT1772)
- Explore and explain the combinations of language and visual choices that authors make to present information, opinions and perspectives in different texts (ACELY1745)
Year 10 English:
- Identify, explain and discuss how narrative viewpoint, structure, characterisation and devices including analogy and satire shape different interpretations and responses to a text (ACELT1642)
- Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)
Year 11 English:
- analysing how language choices are made for different purposes and in different contexts using appropriate metalanguage; for example, personification, voice-over, flashback, salience (ACEEN002)
- explaining the ways language features, text structures and conventions communicate ideas and points of view (ACEEN004)
- explaining the ways text structures, language features and stylistic choices are used in different types of texts (ACEEN005)
- using evidence-based argument (ACEEN014)
- analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences (ACEEN024)
- selecting and applying appropriate textual evidence to support arguments (ACEEN035)
Year 12 English:
- analysing the techniques and conventions used in different genres, mediums and modes(ACEEN044)
- making innovative and imaginative use of language features (ACEEN051)
- undertaking close analysis of texts (ACEEN060)
- analysing content, purpose and choice of language (ACEEN063)
- exploring other interpretations and aspects of context to develop a considered response (ACEEN065)
Syllabus Outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-2A, EN5-6C.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Literacy.
Unit of work: THE OASIS – English
Time required: 90 minutes
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion.
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet
- Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Butcher’s paper and sticky-notes (two colours)
- Access to THE OASIS documentary on Vimeo
This resource has been adapted from ‘Teaching Social Issues Through English’ developed with the English Teachers Association NSW and the ‘Youth Homelessness Matters Resource’ developed by Janice Atkin. You can find these resources here.