Ways of Seeing
Level 2 English Focus

Introduction to Ways of Seeing

In this module students explore the varying sociocultural perspectives and worldviews that Australians hold and how this influences the creation and reading of texts.

All activities in this module are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: English, Years 5 and 6.  (Click here to see the Curriculum Links

The module focuses on developing intercultural understanding through the following learning objectives.  Students will:

This guide provides information about the four activities in this module:

These activities are complementary but can also be used independently.  Each activity is supported with suggested teacher-led introductory and concluding activities.  For the online components students can work individually, in pairs or as small groups.  These activities can also be adapted for use with a smartboard.

Activity 1: What's Going On?

In this activity students explore the sociocultural perspectives they bring to the viewing of texts, by exploring and interpreting images.  They write captions for a variety of photographs and compare them to the photographers' captions.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Focus students on the meaning of perspective using the Visible Thinking strategy Step Inside.  This routine involves students in analysing a work of art by taking on the perspective of a person or thing depicted in the work.  A suitable artwork, Robert Dowling's Masters George, William, and Miss Harriet Ware with the Aborigine Jamie Ware 1856 is available.

Online Activity

Before commencing this activity, familiarise your students with how to navigate through the website.

Part A: Photo album
In this activity students are asked to write captions for seven images depicting a variety of culturally specific activities.  After students submit their own captions they see the photographer's caption.  Students are asked to reflect on why the captions may have differed.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Use the following reflection questions with your students:

You may also like to invite students to bring an image from home and facilitate a similar activity in your classroom.

Activity 2: Home Sweet Home

In this activity students watch short videos depicting the perspectives that several Australians hold about 'home'.  Students reflect on why these perspectives may be different and what home means to them.

Introductory Activity — Offline

In small groups or as a class, students reflect on what home means to them by completing a Y Chart about home.  This involves students in reflecting on what home: looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

Online Activity

Part A: Meaning of home
Students watch three videos of different people talking about what home means to them.  Students are asked to reflect on or discuss each video using a list of reflection questions.  They are then asked to create a five line poem about what home means to them, with a suggestion that each line begin with 'Home is...'

Concluding Activity — Offline

Explore the following questions with your students:

Challenge student to write a definition for the word home.

You may like to invite students to create their own visual representation of 'home'.  Encourage students to incorporate, symbolically or otherwise, each of the five aspects of home they wrote about in their poems.

Activity 3: Mystery Object

In this activity students hear a number of people describe a mystery object, each from very different standpoints.  Students must gather information to guess what the object is.

Introductory Activity — Offline

(There is no introductory activity for this activity)

Online Activity

Part A: Mystery object
Students click through pages to hear five different people describe a mystery object.  The mystery object is a sandstone Buddha statue.

Part B: What is the mystery object?
Students are asked to select the object that was being described from a list of four alternatives.  Once students have taken their guess, an image of the mystery object is revealed.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Bring an unusual or culturally specific object into the class and display it for your students.  Challenge them to write a description of the object from three or more points of view, in the same way that the characters in the activity described the Buddha statue from a variety of perspectives.


Activity 4: Community Perspectives

In this activity students explore a newspaper article about a proposed multicultural nursing home and identify the different points of view that community members bring to the issue.  They take on a role and express one point of view in a Letter to the Editor.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Brainstorm a variety of answers to the following question with your students:
How are the elderly cared for in Australia?

Online Activity

Part A: Read the article
Students read an article from the Canberra Times about the development of a multicultural retirement village in Canberra.

Part B: Meet the characters
Students are introduced to four characters who have an opinion about the story in the Canberra Times.  Students are asked to choose a character and to consider the article from their perspective prior to writing a Letter to the Editor in the role of that character.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Ask students to role-play a public meeting about the proposed retirement village.  Taking the role of moderator, use the following process with your students:

  1. Select four students to play the roles of Raphael Smithton, Mehmet Faruk, Lily Johnston and Alisha Nguyen.  These students will begin the meeting by presenting the arguments they wrote for their character in their Letter to the Editor.
  2. Print, cut-up and distribute the Community Meeting Role Cards to remaining students.  Give all students time to consider the views their character may have about the retirement village and to get into the role that they are playing.
  3. Taking the role of moderator, begin and run the meeting encouraging 'characters' to express their opinions and to respond to the opinions of others.  The Keeping it Positive rules may be useful for this activity.
  4. Ensure that you end the role-play by instructing students to come out of their roles.
Discuss with students if their understanding and opinions about retirement villages has changed as a result of these activities.

Module Reflection

You may like to use a reflection or self-assessment strategy to monitor student engagement with this module.

Further Activity Ideas