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Listed under:  Language  >  Text types  >  Persuasive texts  >  Literary criticism
Audio

Autobiography of a flood survivor

Imagine if the town or suburb you live in came under threat due to a natural disaster. How would you react? Shelby Garlick from Kerang, Victoria, was a finalist of the 2012 Heywire storytelling competition for young people. Listen to her inspiring story and explore the lessons she learnt as a result of working with her ...

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Is reality TV 'real'?

How real is 'reality TV'? Is what we see on a show like 'Masterchef' or 'The Biggest Loser' reality? Or are these shows using a carefully contrived recipe to make us believe that what we are seeing is real? Discover what really goes on behind the scenes of reality TV and how 'reality' can be changed by careful editing.

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Portraying the Exxon Valdez oil spill, 19 years on

Ever heard the phrase 'there are two sides to every story'? While some texts might seem to present both sides of the story, close analysis can often reveal otherwise. This clip from Foreign Correspondent explores some arguments about the after-effects of one of the world's worst oil-spills. The spill occurred in 1989 when ...

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What makes news?

What makes an event a news story? Find out about the well-established 'news formula' and how it helps determine what stories become news and what ones don't.

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Michael Leunig's duck: a conversation

Have you ever had a sudden burst of inspiration and wondered where it came from? That was the case for Michael Leunig, well-known Australian cartoonist, writer, artist and philosopher. Sometimes ideas come to us in abstract ways, as symbols. In this audio clip, Leunig explains the symbolism behind his now famous 'direction-finding ...

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Joan London's 'Gilgamesh': a literary journey

Imagine undertaking a journey to eastern Europe at the start of World War II. This amazing tale of a young single mother from rural Western Australia is the plot of Joan London's novel 'Gilgamesh'. In this clip, explore the motif of the journey in literature. It will help if you are familiar with the novel.

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Hugh Howey's 'Wool': interactive publishing

Science fiction as a genre is known for exploring new frontiers. 'Wool' by Hugh Howey achieves this both in the way it was written and in its publication. Learn more about this fascinating story and the implications it might have for the future of novel writing. Jennifer Byrne's panellists from left to right are: China ...

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Judging utopia: using language to evaluate

Have you ever dreamed of living in a perfect world? Many authors have imagined such utopian worlds in their writing. But would we all agree on what makes a perfect world? In this clip, explore how language can reveal people's judgements of others' ideas.

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Can you agree to disagree about a cult book?

Can your feelings about a book be so strong that they influence your relationships with others? In this clip, a panel of authors, literary critics and a publisher discuss how they respond to people who don't share their passion for a cult book. Listen, too, as they discuss whether quality of writing is essential in a cult book.

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The nature of fear

What do you think makes a monster truly frightening? What inhabits your nightmares? In this clip, discover how traditional monsters such as the vampire have evolved over time and what this suggests about our perception of evil.

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Cult books and bestsellers: same or different?

What are some of the essential characteristics of cult books? Must they be treasured by new generations of readers? Can they also be bestsellers? Find out what a panel of writers, literary critics and a publisher consider to be some of the key features of cult books.

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Books that changed the world: Sigmund Freud

How do you discuss the impact of a book on society with your friends or family? In this clip a panel of writers discuss Sigmund Freud's 'The Interpretation of Dreams'. Listen as they present their different opinions and respond to one another's point of view. The panellists also consider the enduring ability of books to ...

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Cult novels and their characters

A cult novel is one that holds special status for certain readers. Generally, cult novels are those that are passionately loved by a small group of people. In this clip, discover why author Markus Zusak's favourite cult novel is 'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller.

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What's the best age to discover a book?

Do you think there is a best age at which you discover a book? Is a book you love as a young adult likely to remain a favourite for the rest of your life? Listen to a panel of authors, literary critics and a publisher discuss when a book is most likely to make a lasting impression on the reader.

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The enduring appeal of 'Frankenstein'

Frankenstein! The very name of Mary Shelley's tale of the iconic scientist and his disastrous creation strikes fear into the heart of many readers. But what is the reason for this story's enduring power? In this clip, explore why this classic Gothic horror novel has remained relevant since its 1818 publication.

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Exploring dystopian fiction

Imagine a future where Australia has been taken over by an invading force and everybody is interned in prison camps, or a world where corporations control our every move. These are scenarios imagined by two Australian authors, John Marsden and Max Barry. In this clip, explore reasons why they believe these situations might ...

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Books that changed the world: 'Silent Spring'

Have you ever thought that a book could be so powerful that it could change the world? Discover how the biologist Rachel Carson's book 'Silent Spring' led to the banning of toxic agricultural chemicals and launched the modern environment movement.

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Books as a source of debate

Imagine a world destroyed by cataclysm, where you were left to wander through an ash-coated landscape populated by thieves, murderers and even cannibals. That's the vision offered by Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel 'The road'. Dystopian fiction can often be bleak and pessimistic in terms of the view of humanity it offers readers. ...

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The language of criticism

Language is a powerful tool and the way it is used can sometimes disempower or devalue people and their ideas. Listen to young art critic and aspiring painter Robert Hughes as he discusses the Beat Generation. Explore how questions can be used to influence listeners and how language can reveal the attitudes and values of ...

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'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest': book to film

Have you read the book or watched the movie 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest'? The movie was very successful, winning five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Listen to the opinions of some leading authors, filmmakers and critics as they discuss their responses to the film adaptation of the book.