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Listed under:  Language  >  Language modes  >  Creating texts  >  Literary devices
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Hitting the funny bone with comedian Josh Thomas

Josh Thomas is one of Australia's favourite comedians. What is it about his routines that keep his audience in stitches? Sit back and have a giggle as you investigate the nature of humour in this clip.

Video

'Father', 2007

This is a short animated film made in 2007 about a boy trying to understand his father, a post-World War II refugee from Lithuania. His father is mainly silent and difficult to understand when he does speak. He is a heavy drinker who leaves the family when the narrator is 15. The animation begins and ends with an expression ...

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Sussing out the similes in a footy game

If you've ever tried to describe an experience to a friend and said, 'It was just like', you were using a simile. Similes and their close pals metaphors are figures of speech that writers of all sorts of texts use. As you listen to this Heywire audio story, explore Taylor Smith's use of them in his recount of a Saturday ...

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Fortissimo frogs frustrate family

How could words convey the nightly racket of hundreds of croaking frogs outside your bedroom window? Can you think of ways to engage readers' senses so that they 'experience' the frog chorus? A use of imagery is one of them. It's something we'll explore in this humorous story about the perils of frogs. Could you write or ...

Audio

Overflowing with envy of Clancy's splendid life

Enjoy this audio clip, which features Australian actor Jack Thompson reading AB 'Banjo' Paterson's poem 'Clancy of the Overflow'. This poem is an Australian bush ballad, narrated by a city office worker who imagines that Clancy's life as a shearer and drover in the outback would hold far more pleasures than his own.

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Persuading a 'generous, open-hearted people'

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the USA reverberated throughout the world. As far away as Australia, they shaped national policies and the rhetoric used to promote them. Explore the influence of these events on the 2001 Liberal Party policy launch, delivered by former Prime Minister John Howard.

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'Romeo and Juliet': galloping towards tragedy

Have you ever waited for someone with such anticipation that you felt you might burst? That's exactly the feeling experienced by Juliet, played by Miranda Tapsell of Bell Shakespeare, in this soliloquy as she calls on night to arrive and bring her new husband. Shakespeare's masterful use of dramatic irony puts the audience ...

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'Julius Caesar': justifying murder

Brutus is in a dilemma! His friend Julius Caesar is about to be crowned Emperor of Rome. However, Brutus is concerned that Caesar will become a tyrant, and he wants to do what is best for Rome. Join interviewer James Evans and actors John Bell and Hazem Shammas from Bell Shakespeare as they explore the language of this ...

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'Julius Caesar': the adder and the ladder

Shakespeare's tragedies provide his audiences with moral dilemmas. Julius Caesar is no exception. In this soliloquy, Brutus ponders whether assassinating Julius Caesar would be in the best interests of Rome. Shakespeare's use of metaphor provides the key to understanding Brutus' motivation, convincingly brought to life ...

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How to write fiction that comes alive

This short video for students shares some vividly illustrated tips on how to use language to make your fiction really come alive using metaphors, sensory imagery, onomatopoeia and avoiding cliches.

Teacher resource

Refugees and migration: seeking refuge - the journey

This is an interactive resource about refugees and asylum seekers. It contain sections about the journey refugees take including the reasons for leaving their home, their physical journey and the process of seeking refuge and resettlement. The resource is presented as a unit of work with activities aimed at developing the ...

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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Borrowed words: the processes of language change

Do you know any words from another language? Chances are, you know more than you think you do! English is a polyglot language; one that borrows words from other languages. In this Professor Kate Burridge discusses the origins of the phrases 'short-shrift' and 'lily-livered'.

Audio

Evolving English: the impact of television

Imagine if the English language never evolved. What would we be speaking? Possibly Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxon tribes, a language written down using runes known as the 'futhorc'. English continues to evolve, but it takes the media to bring new words into common usage. So which form of media is responsible ...

Interactive Resource

Visual humour

This resource focuses on how humour is created in images, films and multimodal texts. It includes activities and reading strategies to support the analysis and understanding of the processes of visual humour in texts. This resource supports the Australian Curriculum in English K–10.

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Racing the boys

Brittany Armstrong's regular Friday night? Competing against the boys on the Lismore Speedway. In her Heywire story 'Go hard, turn left', find out how teenage speedway racer Brittany describes her experiences. Could you write or record a similar story about yourself and/or your community? The ABC's Heywire competition calls ...

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Chilling with the butcher's dog

Perhaps no term conjures the Australian character more than the ubiquitous 'G'day, mate'. But are Australians in danger of losing the colourful language they're known for? This clip examines some of the colloquialisms that might be in danger of disappearing.

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Country towns: all drop bears and skate rats?

Why might you use humour when presenting your local community to a national audience? In this Heywire clip, an 'ex-bushranger and survival expert' (in reality Hayden Laube) introduces us to the wilds of Port Pirie. After several adventures including fighting off ferocious wildlife, he reflects on the value of life in a ...

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Running towards mental health

Would you accept someone's argument if you didn't think the person presenting it was credible? Explore Nakita Sobczyk's Heywire audio story and reflect on what makes her an ideal person to educate others about mental illness. As you do, consider the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle's discussion of how 'ethos' can be ...

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Presenting a point of view about marriage equality

Marriage equality is a controversial issue in Australia, one that has provoked media sensationalism, political rhetoric and heated arguments. Sometimes, however, quieter voices make their point amid all the furore. Explore the voice of Lochsley Wilson in his Heywire audio story.<br /><br />To talk with someone about anxiety ...