Annotations of selected texts prescribed for the Higher School Certificate



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English

Stage 6

Annotations of selected texts prescribed for the

Higher School Certificate

2015–20


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20130281

Contents


Introduction 4

English (Standard) and English (Advanced) courses common content 5

Area of Study 6



English (Standard) course 34

Module A: Experience Through Language 35

Module B: Close Study of Text 42

Module C: Texts and Society 48



English (Advanced) course 56

Module A: Comparative Study of Texts and Context 57

Module B: Critical Study of Texts 69

Module C: Representation and Text 76



English as a Second Language (ESL) course 89

Language Study within an Area of Study 90

Module A: Experience Through Language 120

English Extension 1 course 125

Module A: Genre 126

Module B: Texts and Ways of Thinking 138

Module C: Language and Values 148



Index to titles of texts 152



Introduction


Annotations have been developed for selected texts prescribed for the Higher School Certificate in 2015–20. An annotation is provided for each new text and for texts returning from earlier prescriptions lists. In addition, where an annotation was previously available or a text has been moved to another course, module or elective, an updated annotation is provided.

These annotations are based on criteria established by the Board of Studies and are intended to support specified aspects of the English courses. The criteria include:



  • merit and cultural significance

  • needs and interests of students

  • opportunities for challenging teaching and learning.

The annotations assist in the choice of texts for particular candidatures and for local communities and provide some suggestions for approaching teaching and learning. They are not prescriptive and do not offer guidelines for the interpretation of texts, electives or modules.

Annotations of selected texts prescribed for the



Higher School Certificate

2015–20









ENGLISH (STANDARD) AND ENGLISH (ADVANCED)

COURSES



COMMON CONTENT




TYPE OF TEXT: Prose Fiction

TITLE: Wrack

AUTHOR: James Bradley

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Published in 1997, Wrack addresses questions about the nature of history and the ‘discovery’ of Australia. The narrative draws together disparate threads – accounts of the semi-mythical ‘Mahogany Ship’, romantic relationships and a murder mystery.

  • It is a novel of history and discovery on several levels and deals with early European exploration of the continent, as well as the mystery surrounding the characters and the connections between them.

  • Wrack was the debut novel of leading Australian author and critic James Bradley. It won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Literature Award and the Kathleen Mitchell Literary Award, and was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (SE Asia and Pacific Region).

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will investigate reports and legends of the Portuguese ship supposedly wrecked on the southern coast of Australia, which lies at the heart of the novel’s plot. They will hypothesise about the ways that such discoveries can generate alternative views of history.

  • Students will find engaging the novel’s mystery and follow the clues and discoveries to their conclusion.

  • Students will have opportunities to explore the ways that discoveries about people’s characters and pasts can affect relationships.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Study of the novel will provide opportunities to address the concept of discovery across a range of historical and fictional contexts.

  • Students could examine the use of exposition, description and evocative imagery to splice together different literary genres in the novel.

  • Wrack invites comparison with other texts that deal with European exploration of the New World and archaeological and historical research, and with examples of historical fiction and crime writing in particular.

TYPE OF TEXT: Prose Fiction

TITLE: The Awakening

AUTHOR: Kate Chopin

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • The Awakening provoked controversy and was censored when it was first published in 1899. Largely neglected in the decades that followed, the novel received renewed critical attention in the 1960s and is now regarded as an important precursor of modern feminist literature.

  • The novel is significant for its depiction of social and cultural constraints, particularly the tedium and oppressiveness of middle-class female existence and confining gender roles.

  • The female heroine and voice provide a perspective that was unusual for the time. The character’s unconventional views on femininity and motherhood bring her into direct conflict with the moral and social codes and attitudes that prevailed in the American Deep South at the close of the 19th century.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • The novel explores how we follow paths in life unquestioningly until something happens to awaken us to other possibilities.

  • The main character chooses to focus on discovering her own untapped resources and potential, ignoring social expectations in the process and ultimately accepting responsibility for the direction her life takes.

  • Through her novel, Chopin clearly delineates the characteristics required to discover oneself: courage, bravery, persistence and an independent spirit.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students will analyse how metaphors of light, clothing, art and music, and open and closed spaces are used in the novel to represent the ways individuals are confined and liberated.

  • Through close examination of techniques of characterisation and the unflinching use of the omniscient narrator, students will appreciate how they reveal characters’ material realities and psychological identities.

  • Students will have opportunities to consider and evaluate the effect of the author’s extensive use of irony, understatement, wit and dry humour in the novel.

TYPE OF TEXT: Prose Fiction

TITLE: Swallow the Air

AUTHOR: Tara June Winch

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Swallow the Air won several major national literary awards, including the David Unaipon Award for Unpublished Indigenous Writer at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2004, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing in 2006 and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing at the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

  • The novel’s protagonist, May Gibson, is an Aboriginal teenager seeking to reclaim her cultural identity and find a sense of self following the death of her mother and the disintegration of her family unit.

  • The novel is a realistic depiction of issues and difficulties faced by Aboriginal individuals and communities in Australia in the present day and of the lasting effects of the Stolen Generations on families, cultures and society.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will empathise with the teenage narrator and her reactions to events, situations and the people she meets on her travels.

  • The focus on May’s relationship with her mother, her mother’s family background and her own quest to find out about her Aboriginal identity will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about aspects of Aboriginal history, society, culture and spirituality.

  • Events and experiences depicted in the novel are often dramatic and have negative personal and emotional consequences for the narrator. Episodes of humour, incidental encounters that strengthen May’s resilience and determination, and the life lessons she receives from the strong Aboriginal women she comes into contact with, help to balance the gritty realism of the story.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students could investigate and respond to many issues and themes related to the concept of discovery that are explored in the novel: May’s search for her father; her quest to find her mother’s family and to understand and reconnect with her Wiradjuri heritage; her personal journey of growth and self-discovery; and her ultimate realisation about the true meaning of ‘home’.

  • Students will analyse the episodic plot structure and language techniques such as first person narration, emotive language, rich visual imagery and Aboriginal English dialogue used in the novel, and consider and evaluate their effects.

  • May’s experience recounted in the novel invites comparison with other quests to discover or reassert a sense of personal or cultural identity, and with texts that deal with the consequences of Aboriginal dispossession of their homes, families and ways of life by white authorities.

TYPE OF TEXT: Nonfiction

TITLE: A Short History of Nearly Everything

AUTHOR: Bill Bryson

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Bill Bryson is an acclaimed and commercially successful author of humorous travel books, in addition to other popular works dealing with science, history and the English language.

  • The book provides a layman’s history of a wide array of scientific discoveries and theories, focusing on subjects including astronomy and cosmology, chemistry and quantum physics, gravity and relativity, paleontology and geology, and biology and evolution.

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything was awarded the 2004 Aventis Prize for best general science writing and a Descartes Science Communication Prize from the European Union in 2005.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will be engaged by Bryson’s quirky and enthusiastic approach to science writing.

  • The book presents scientific knowledge and biographical information, including amusing anecdotes about famous scientists from history, in a straightforward and accessible manner.

  • Speculations about natural disasters and the impact of human civilisation on the Earth’s climate and ecology intersperse the factual details and explanations provided in the text.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Through reflection on the context and purpose of Bryson’s text, students can evaluate the effectiveness of his attempt to make scientific subject matter accessible to a broad audience.

  • Analysis of the language forms and features of the text will centre on how they are combined to create a comprehensive, unified and lucid nonfiction narrative.

  • The text invites comparison with other works dealing with scientific research and discoveries and fields of specialised knowledge.

TYPE OF TEXT: Nonfiction

TITLE: The Motorcycle Diaries

AUTHOR: Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • In January 1952, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, a 23-year-old medical student from Buenos Aires, and his friend, 29-year-old biochemist Alberto Granado, set off on an old motorcycle on what would turn out to be an epic nine-month journey through most of South America.

  • Che would later become a key player in the Cuban Revolution, and a worldwide symbol of rebellion.

  • The book was first published in 1993 and became a New York Times bestseller when it was republished in 2003. It was made into an award-winning feature film in 2004.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • By turns humorous, provocative and poignant, The Motorcycle Diaries is a classic tale of wanderlust and self-discovery.

  • The boisterous memoir of Che’s youthful adventures is interwoven with a record of the poverty, exploitation, illness and suffering he witnessed along the way. It was these experiences that first awakened his political and social conscience.

  • Over the course of their travels across the continent, Che and Alberto discover how the capitalist system erects barriers of race, class, culture, employment, economics and even health that are oppressive and inhumane.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • The text can be approached in a variety of ways: as a bildungsroman revealing a blend of idealism, opportunism and empathy that marks Che’s character; as a chronicle of encounters with people, places, cultures and histories; as a narrative account of friendship, struggles against adversity, generosity and camaraderie; and as the symbolic gestation of a political manifesto for the establishment of a united Latin America.

  • Through close examination of the way recounts, descriptions and commentary are combined in the diary entries, students will trace the gradual evolution of Che’s revolutionary ideology.

  • The book invites comparison with other personal and political memoirs, travel literature, and coming-of-age and ‘rites of passage’ stories, as well as with ‘buddy films’, ‘road movies’ and documentaries.

TYPE OF TEXT: Drama

TITLE: Away

AUTHOR: Michael Gow

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Popular and critically well received, Away is regarded as a significant example of contemporary Australian theatre.

  • The play draws on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and King Lear, and there are many intertextual references throughout.

  • Away won the Play Award at the 1986 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will engage with the characters and relationships depicted in the play, particularly the budding romance between Tom and Meg.

  • Students will relate to the representations of school and family life in the play, and with the summertime ritual of going ‘away’ to the coast on a family Christmas holiday. The discoveries that the characters make about themselves and one another are directly related to this iconic Australian tradition.

  • The play was first performed in 1986; however, it is set in 1967–68, at the height of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. In addition to the representation of a particular time in Australia’s history, the play addresses a range of themes and issues that are directly related to its context of composition, and which are still relevant today.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Study of Away provides opportunities for students to reflect on their own discoveries of new and changing relationships and the ways different contexts encourage this reflection.

  • Students will examine the way that class distinctions in Australian society, and the particular social and historical context, are represented in the play by the three families’ respective domestic and holiday settings, and through aspects of characterisation and dialogue.

  • Through examination of the play’s structure and allusions, students can analyse how Away mimics Shakespearean and Greek dramatic modes and themes.

TYPE OF TEXT: Drama

TITLE: Rainbow’s End

AUTHOR: Jane Harrison

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Rainbow’s End was written by acclaimed Australian playwright Jane Harrison. It tells the story of three generations of Aboriginal women who live in a humpy on the river flats in northern Victoria in the 1950s.

  • The play focuses on Dolly, a young Aboriginal woman who meets and falls in love with Errol, a white encyclopedia salesman. The story centres on their developing relationship and the obstacles they encounter within the contexts of often rigid social and cultural viewpoints, conflicting expectations and pervasive economic and personal hardships.

  • Set within a particular social and historical context, the play deals with the secrets the characters feel compelled to keep in order to protect each other and comply with perceived obligations of family, race and class.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will be engaged by the play’s representation of a distinctly Australian environment and way of life, by its focus on young love, family relationships and conflict, and, ultimately, by its positive resolution as Gladys discovers her ‘voice’.

  • The play is thought provoking and emotionally powerful in its dramatisation of a family’s struggle to find suitable housing with proper amenities, relevant and meaningful educational experiences, appropriate economic and welfare support, access to jobs and careers, and acceptance within the broader Australian community.

  • Through the course of the play, all of the central characters make discoveries about one another, about their culture and the society in which they live, and about themselves and their own ingrained attitudes.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students will examine the use of irony and gentle humour in the dialogue, characterisations and interactions between the characters, along with other dramatic techniques and language forms and features, to reveal and underscore the central concerns and themes of the play.

  • The experiences and issues depicted in the play lend themselves to exploration of specific aspects of Australian history, society, culture and values. Students can analyse the way that the play’s setting and elements of the drama communicate an authentic sense of time and place.

  • Students could consider the play’s treatment of issues that are still relevant today, including: the circumstances and effects of social and cultural dislocation on families; differing attitudes towards women’s roles; questions around self-determination; and patriarchal attitudes and approaches towards Aboriginal people in Australia.

TYPE OF TEXT: Film

TITLE: Life of Pi

DIRECTOR: Ang Lee

RATING: PG

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Directed by Ang Lee, who has won the Academy Award for best director twice, The Life of Pi is based on Yann Martel’s 2001 Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.

  • The film has had critical and commercial success, receiving 11 nominations for the 85th Academy Awards and being awarded Best Picture for 2012 by the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

  • Set in the tumultuous political times of 1975 in India, referred to as the ‘Emergency’, the film transports the viewer to the colourful world of former French colony Pondicherry in Southern India. The protagonist, Pi, challenges the viewer to consider philosophically a number of world religions.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will be engaged by the intriguing allegorical storytelling of two narrators who blend fact with fiction. The central narrator Pi, who is shipwrecked and alone with four animals, demonstrates the importance of faith, hope and perseverance.

  • The film explores the moral dilemma of the fight for survival and Pi’s spiritual quest for truth and meaning. During Pi’s remarkable 227-day ordeal with a hungry Bengal tiger, he questions himself, God and life.

  • The spectacular cinematography, mystic realism and ambiguous ending of the film invoke a mystical quality that will produce a range of emotive responses in viewers, as well as make them consider how individuals need to find their inner strength.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students could examine the ways the film explores how discoveries can be spiritual, emotional and creative, through the protagonist Pi’s bildungsroman and the audience’s responses to Pi’s fascinating journey of survival.

  • Students can consider how the film sutures the audience into Pi’s world through clever cinematography and imaginative film techniques to evoke empathy and understanding of his plight.

  • Students could explore how the film’s ending provokes curiosity and speculation about the veracity of Pi’s story and whether he created this imaginative allegory to escape his discoveries about life’s harsh realities and humanity’s shortcomings.

TYPE OF TEXT: Drama/Shakespearean Drama

TITLE: The Tempest

AUTHOR: William Shakespeare

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • The Tempest is believed to be one of Shakespeare’s final plays, if not the last. It is notable for the influence of continental theatrical traditions and conventions on its subject matter and style.

  • Popular in adapted and musical versions from the Restoration era onward, it was not until William Macready’s 1838 production that Shakespeare’s original text reasserted itself in the history of English theatre. Critical estimation of the play rose significantly in the 20th century, and it is now widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.

  • The Tempest has been adapted numerous times across the centuries in a variety of mediums, forms and styles, including plays, operas, orchestral compositions, paintings, poems, fiction and films.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will be engaged by the play’s mixture of drama, comedy and romance, and its focus on magic and the supernatural.

  • The play examines political and ethical questions relating to ambition, usurpation, authority, power and captivity, while also dealing with family relationships and loyalties and personal dilemmas and struggles.

  • The setting and subject matter of the play reflect the European voyages of discovery that were opening up the known world at that time.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Unlike earlier Shakespearean dramas, The Tempest is unified in time, action and setting. Students will explore and respond to the play’s comparatively extensive use of stage directions, its parallel plots and the varied approaches to characterisation.

  • Students will have an opportunity to investigate the influence of other European and English forms and styles of literature, such as the tragicomedy, courtly romance, masques and pageants, commedia dell’arte and the emerging genre of ‘traveller’s tales’ encompassing real and imaginary voyages of travel and exploration.

  • Current post-colonial and gender-based appraisals of the play can be compared and contrasted with more traditional approaches and the prevailing values and attitudes of Shakespeare’s day. Other interpretations have focused on finding autobiographical connections in the play, viewing Prospero’s renunciation of his ‘art’ as an analogue for Shakespeare’s farewell to the theatre.

TYPE OF TEXT: Poetry

AUTHOR: Rosemary Dobson

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Rosemary Dobson is a highly regarded Australian poet. Also an illustrator, editor and anthologist, she published 14 volumes of poetry in a career spanning over 60 years.

  • Dobson was the recipient of many awards and accolades, and won the Robert Frost Prize in 1979 and the Patrick White Award in 1984. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1987.

  • The poems selected for study are: ‘Young Girl at a Window’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Painter of Antwerp’, ‘Traveller’s Tale’, ‘The Tiger’, ‘Cock Crow’, ‘Ghost Town: New England’.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will research the references to art and mythology to discover deeper layers of meaning and significance in the poems and to enrich their understanding of the processes of literary allusion.

  • Students will be engaged by the representations of insights and epiphanies in the poems, and Dobson’s attempt to express the inexpressible through poetry.

  • The selection of poems addresses themes of discovery relating to youth, art, exploration, history, nature, family relationships and the passage of time and their representations in mythology, painting and poetry.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Study of the poems will provide opportunities to analyse different forms and styles of poetry and a wide range of poetic techniques. Students will examine the tonal shifts in Dobson’s poems and the way that these are used to counterpoint and highlight the comparisons and juxtapositions of their subject matter.

  • Students will identify and investigate the allusions and imagery of the poems, and evaluate their effects.

  • Dobson’s poetry invites comparison with the work of other writers and artists who explore and interrogate connections between Australian and European traditions in art and culture.

TYPE OF TEXT: Poetry

AUTHOR: Robert Frost

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Robert Frost is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential 20th-century American poets. His poems are acclaimed for their naturalism and dramatic renderings of ordinary life.

  • He was awarded four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

  • The following poems have been chosen for study: ‘The Tuft of Flowers’, ‘Mending Wall’, ‘Home Burial’, ‘After Apple-Picking’, ‘Fire and Ice’, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Frost’s poetry is immediately accessible, drawing on events, speech and characters encountered in everyday life.

  • The selected poems look at aspects of human relationships and how we negotiate life.

  • Aspects of discovery in the poems are linked to knowing more about oneself and about how one relates to others and to the natural world.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students will have the opportunity to examine how Frost draws on everyday life using the rhythms of spoken language to explore complex social and philosophical ideas.

  • Through close examination and analysis of Frost’s work, students will appreciate its great technical proficiency and control of language and structure.

  • The use of characterisation, imagery and description, naturalistic speech and dramatic monologue in the poetry all afford opportunities for intensive language study.

TYPE OF TEXT: Poetry

AUTHOR: Robert Gray

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Robert Gray is an award-winning Australian poet, writer, editor, teacher and critic.

  • He has been acclaimed by his peers Kevin Hart and Les Murray respectively as ‘an Imagist … without rival in the English-speaking world’ and ‘one of the contemporary masters of poetry in English’.

  • The poems selected for study are: ‘Journey: the North Coast’, ‘The Meatworks’, ‘North Coast Town’, ‘Late Ferry’, ‘Flames and Dangling Wire’, ‘Diptych’.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Students will be engaged by the minutely observed scenes and encounters that Gray portrays in his poems, and the precision of his language.

  • Gray’s poetry evokes images of the Australian landscape, people and ways of life that are drawn from his own experiences and perspectives.

  • Students could investigate the influences of East Asian cultures and philosophy in the themes and forms of the poems.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • Students can examine Gray’s visual imagery, his preference for similes over metaphors, and other techniques used in the poems to represent the uniqueness and variety of the Australian environment and aspects of contemporary Australian life, to gain a deeper understanding of his approach to poetry and ideas about life and humanity.

  • In their responding and composing, students will move from the images created in the poems to discover deeper levels in the poetry and insights about themselves, their attitudes to life and their world.

  • Gray’s poetry invites comparison with other writers and texts that represent individuals’ experiences of nature, and Australian landscapes in particular.

TYPE OF TEXT: Media

TITLE: Frank Hurley – The Man Who Made History

DIRECTOR: Simon Nasht

RATING: PG

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • Frank Hurley – The Man Who Made History, directed by Simon Nasht, is the story of Australian photographer Frank Hurley.

  • A pioneer of Australian photography and documentary filmmaking, Frank Hurley captured some of the best-known images of the 20th century. He was the official photographer on both Douglas Mawson’s and Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions and served as war photographer during both World Wars.

  • This 2004 television documentary examines the man behind the myth that Hurley created around himself, and explains how some of his iconic images were actually elaborate illusions.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • As one of the last great imperial adven­turers, Frank Hurley took some of the earliest photographs of the world’s most remote places. His images are among the most valuable ever taken, although the authenticity of some of them has now been challenged.

  • This documentary questions the validity of Hurley’s work, asking whether his images should be regarded as ‘fakes’ or whether they are acceptable composites, often combining elements from several negatives for dramatic effect.

  • The documentary is engaging in its use of a blend of cinematic techniques to explore Hurley’s own experimental use of film as a pioneer of the documentary form.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • By considering both Hurley’s discoveries and his representations of these, as well as Nasht’s discoveries about Hurley’s work, the documentary offers students the opportunity to investigate and respond to different aspects of the Area of Study.

  • Through their analysis of the documentary, students will explore and question how composers represent both their discoveries and themselves.

  • Through their study, students will consider that discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and that the value attached to any discovery may be reassessed over time.

TYPE OF TEXT: Media

TITLE: Go Back to Where You Came From – Series 1, Episodes 1, 2 and 3 and The Response

RATING: M

DIRECTOR: Ivan O’Mahoney

COURSE: Standard and Advanced

AREA OF STUDY: Discovery

DESCRIPTION

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts.

Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed. Discoveries can be sudden and unexpected, or they can emerge from a process of deliberate and careful planning evoked by curiosity, necessity or wonder. Discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful in ways that may be emotional, creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual. They can also be confronting and provocative. They can lead us to new worlds and values, stimulate new ideas, and enable us to speculate about future possibilities. Discoveries and discovering can offer new understandings and renewed perceptions of ourselves and others.

An individual’s discoveries and their process of discovering can vary according to personal, cultural, historical and social contexts and values. The impact of these discoveries can be far reaching and transformative for the individual and for broader society. Discoveries may be questioned or challenged when viewed from different perspectives and their worth may be reassessed over time. The ramifications of particular discoveries may differ for individuals and their worlds.

By exploring the concept of discovery, students can understand how texts have the potential to affirm or challenge individuals’ or more widely-held assumptions and beliefs about aspects of human experience and the world. Through composing and responding to a wide range of texts, students may make discoveries about people, relationships, societies, places and events and generate new ideas. By synthesising perspectives, students may deepen their understanding of the concept of discovery. Students consider the ways composers may invite them to experience discovery through their texts and explore how the process of discovering is represented using a variety of language modes, forms and features.

The following annotations are based on the criteria for selection of texts appropriate for study for the Higher School Certificate.



MERIT AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

  • The first series of Go Back to Where You Came From was the highest-rating SBS television production of 2011, and a second series was screened in 2012.

  • In 2013, it won Most Outstanding Factual Program at the Logie (Australian television) Awards.

  • Series 1 of this topical documentary follows a diverse group of six Australians as they retrace the journey of asylum seekers. They experience an Australian detention centre, a leaky boat on the Timor Sea, immigration raids in Malaysia, a Kenyan refugee camp, slums in Jordan, and war zones in the Congo and Iraq.

NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF STUDENTS

  • Study of this documentary series will provide students with the opportunity to address the concept of discovery through the exploration of the experiences of six Australians required to live as refugees for a month.

  • Students will be engaged by the way in which the participants from diverse backgrounds are variously affected by their experiences and how their preconceived views are challenged by the reality of the situations and people they encounter.

  • Students will find the reality television show formula familiar and engaging when employed in the service of a serious contemporary issue, and will be drawn to consider their own values in relation to those portrayed in the series.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHALLENGING TEACHING AND LEARNING

  • The series provides students with the opportunity to consider the role of the media in shaping public opinion and to analyse the ways people and issues are represented through language, structure and visual choices.

  • Students may also critically analyse the production values and the techniques used in the series and evaluate their effectiveness in relation to audience, purpose and context.

  • Through the special forum The Response, participants are provided with opportunities to assess the ways in which they have been represented in the series. Students may test those assessments against their own considered responses.





Annotations of selected texts prescribed for the
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