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TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 English

This unit of work focuses on developing student understanding of the importance of being track safe and the key message 'Stop, Look, Listen, Think'. It builds students' familiarity with the vocabulary and key concepts related to rail safety and provides differentiated activities for writers at different stages of development ...

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Jessica's career in mining

In this Heywire clip from 2011, note how Jessica Faustini constructs her argument in favour of coalmining in Australia. Investigate her use of persuasive techniques in this picture story, which is accompanied by voice-over and sound effects from Jessica's working environment. Could you write or record a similar story about ...

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A moral minefield: Christos Tsiolkas's 'The Slap'

'The Slap', a novel from Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, created plenty of controversy when it was published. Why is it that some novels seem to stir people up more than others? Learn how the novel affected a group of panel members discussing popular Australian books.

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The lost and the missing at Hanging Rock

Joan Lindsay's 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' is often considered a classic of Australian literature. But what makes it so well-regarded? And does everyone agree? Join in this panel discussion and explore why one person's literary masterpiece is another's turgid pot-boiler.

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Reporting from a war zone

Imagine what it would be like to report from an active war zone. How do reporters get access to these war zones and what rules do they follow to avoid becoming casualties? Find out how war zone reporters get their story.

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Collie's 'pretty normal'

What's life like in a coal mining, power-generating region of Western Australia? Teenager Kaitlyn Clews challenges local misconceptions about the town of Collie and its surrounds. In this 'Heywire' clip, enjoy Kaitlyn's humour and innovative media techniques as she introduces you to the Collie River Valley. Could you write ...

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Rethinking drinking alcohol

'High Sobriety', a book that journalist Jill Stark wrote about her experiences after deciding to stop drinking, provoked a lively discussion on the First Tuesday Book Club. All panellists were affected by the work. Have any books changed your life or made you question your beliefs and behaviour?

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My caravan 'home'

What do you think of when you hear the word 'home'? For Shaye Fisher, it's a caravan at Portarlington, Victoria. Although Shaye's family only use the caravan on weekends and holidays, it is a constant among all the changes in her life. In this 'Heywire' clip, Shaye uses text, audio and visual images of the caravan park ...

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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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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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Drinking the substitute

While working as a barmaid, Cara Ferguson formed strong views about alcohol. Listen to her Heywire audio story and consider how she represents heavy drinking. Find out her attitude to the glamorisation of alcohol consumption and the downplaying of dangers associated with it. How does she maximise the impact of her views?<br ...

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John le Carré: early influences

How do writers of spy novels find inspiration? Where do they learn about the people and places that feature in their books? Listen to acclaimed author John le Carré explain how he draws upon his childhood, family and his work with the British secret service to inspire and inform his novels.

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Understanding satire: the 'ocker' Australian

What do 'Borat', 'The Simpsons', 'Gulliver's Travels' and political cartoons have in common? They are all forms of satire: a particularly tricky genre of text. In this clip, explore the concept of satire and how it is constructed.

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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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Jane Eyre: who is Bertha Mason?

What do Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason have in common? In what ways are they different? How do you react to Bertha's character? Listen carefully as Professor John Bowen shares his thoughts about the significance of Bertha in Charlotte Bronte's classic novel. This clip is one in a series of four.

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Wuthering Heights: violence and cruelty

Why might Emily Bronte have included numerous instances of cruelty in Wuthering Heights? Listen as John Bowen, Professor of Nineteeth-century Literature, considers the reasons behind the brutality in the novel. This clip is one in a series of four from the British Library.

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Visits from a Christmas Island crab

Discover the lush beauty and extraordinary wildlife of Christmas Island, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean more than 1,500 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. In this Heywire audio story, Isabelle Bolland shares some of her experiences of life on Christmas Island and reminds her audience that there is far ...

Online

TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Year 3 and Year 4 English

This unit of work focuses on behaviour in and around tracks and rail infrastructure. Activities build subject-specific vocabulary and understanding of procedural text structures. Guided writing activities support students to develop a series of track safe procedures while a slogan writing activity focuses on effective ways ...

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Writing from the fringe

Imagine a mysterious island with a wild, rugged landscape and a history of tragedy and hardship. But it is also an island of unrivalled beauty with a purity of nature rarely found today. Sound like something out of a novel? Well, it's Tasmania and it has inspired the writing of many novels, not the least of which are those ...

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The serious side of comics

Poetry, plays, novels � and comic books? In the past, writers and illustrators of graphic novels have struggled to have their work taken seriously. More recently, the tides might just have turned. Judge for yourself whether this form of text deserves a little more respect than it's been getting. This clip is one in a series ...