Fiction, Film and other Texts a support document for the English Years 7–10 Syllabus

The Walker Book of Classic Poetry and Poets

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The Walker Book of Classic Poetry and Poets

Selected by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Paul Howard

Walker Books – ISBN: 0744582644

The poets represented in this anthology range from William Shakespeare to Carl Sandburg, Edward Lear to Emily Dickinson, and Banjo Paterson to W B Yeats. The book is elevated by the variety of full colour illustrations, sketches and paintings that intelligently extend the reader’s enjoyment of the poems. This is a poetry book of windows, both visual and literary, to new worlds.
The Lady of Shalott

Alfred Lord Tennyson, illustrated by Charles Keeping

Oxford University Press – ISBN: 0192723715
Charles Keeping beautifully illustrates Tennyson’s famous poem of the Lady of Shalott. The words come vividly to life in Keeping’s black-and-white sketches. The dramatic arrival of Lancelot, the sudden movement of the lady to the window and the doomed journey down the river are all poignantly captured in this beautiful book.

Poetry Stage 5
Double Vision

Michael Benton and Peter Benton (eds)

Hodder and Stoughton – ISBN: 0340518529
This is a teaching text with interpretation questions and imaginative writing suggestions, published in association with the Tate Gallery. It contains a collection of paintings in full colour paired with poems written in response to them. There is a section on Vincent van Gogh with poems about his paintings; another section features Constable landscapes and the poems they have inspired; there is a Pieter Brueghel (the Elder) Section which features four of his paintings – Children’s Games, Peasant Dance, The Triumph of Death, and Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. Thirty-three poets are featured, mostly British and American, modern and traditional, including Auden, Coleridge, Ferlinghetti, McGough, Plath, Sexton, Heaney, Causley, Fanthorpe, and William Carlos Williams.
A Phantom Script

Brian Keyte and Richard A Baines (eds)

Nelson – ISBN: 0170067742
This international anthology moves from reading and writing poetry to understanding poetry and has several units on specific poets. The emphasis is on modern selection and there are effective and appropriate activities throughout the text.
Australian Visions

Jill Bryant

Cambridge University Press – ISBN: 0733606571
This is the Stage 5 companion text to Australian Imaginings. It is an integrated large-format text of poems and paintings arranged according to themes such as Cityscape, Growth and passion, Wild imagination, and Unravelling individuality. Intelligent discussion issues and writing tasks are offered at the end of each section. The entire content is exhilaratingly Australian, contemporary and classic, Dawe and Hope, Kefala and Slessor. The design and layout of the book matches its own artistic subject matter.
Among Ants Between Bees

Peter McFarlane

Macmillan Education Australia – ISBN: 073294841X

Australian poets introduce each theme section of this poetry anthology. Their discussion of the themes’ significance and their insights into the nature of poetry makes a wonderful bridge for students to the poems that follow. Sections such as Lifespan, Poets on Poetry, Landscape and The Human Species lead students through a wide-ranging and eye-catching series of poems.
Love, Ghosts and Nose Hair: A Verse Novel for Young Adults

Stephen Herrick

University of Queensland Press – ISBN: 0702228788

This verse-form novel is a tour de force of writing, empathy and gentle irony illuminating the family life of Jack, his widowed father, sister Desiree and girlfriend Annabel. In its unpretentious, pared-down style it says more than many longer novels. The rhythm and swing of the verse carries the reader along in its flow. This is some of the most moving writing about loss and death from cancer, as well as some of the warmest and funniest on perennial teenage and family issues. It reads aloud so well that it’s sure to turn some teenagers on to poetry.
Oxford Treasury of Time Poems

Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark (eds)

Oxford University Press – ISBN: 0192762362
This collection of poems represents many different aspects of time. Poets including Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Heaney, Rossetti, Hughes, Frost and Dickinson explore the past, present and the future; eternity; being born and growing old. Ten illustrators provide colour and form to nearly every page making this a visually appealing anthology.
Spirit Song: A Collection of Aboriginal Poetry

Compiled by Lorraine Mafi-Williams
Omnibus Books – ISBN: 1862911193

Thirty-five Aboriginal poets write about what it means to be Aboriginal today. The poems reflect anger, hope and determination as well as the spirituality and culture of the ancestors. This anthology is a welcome addition to the poetry of indigenous people.

Two Centuries of Australian Poetry

Mark O’Connor (ed)

Oxford University Press – ISBN: 0195537505
These poems, predominantly modern, are arranged in sections which focus on themes including the Aboriginal world, European contact, migrant experience, war, urban life and workplaces, women’s experiences and the future. Notes, activities and suggested titles for further study are supplied at the end of each section.
My People


Jacaranda – ISBN: 0701634030
This is the third edition of Oodgeroo’s best-selling poetry book. The poems tell of the sufferings and struggles of Aboriginal people in Australia. They are both accessible and intellectually and emotionally challenging. The volume also has some of Oodgeroo’s (formerly Kath Walker’s) speeches and recollections. This book shows teenagers that poetry can be political and social and still involve feeling.

Margaret Wild

Allen & Unwin – ISBN:1865082643
Jinx is a multi-layered verse novel in which many voices entwine and overlap. At the centre is Jen, or Jinx as she becomes during her dark days. Her story is interwoven with those around her – her mother, her estranged father, her sister Gracie, her friend Hal, her English teacher – as she agonises over her past and works through her guilt over Charlie’s death. Despite the number of issues raised and the serious problems encountered, there is humour in the telling and Jen’s story is ultimately one of hope and forgiveness.


The English Years 7–10 Syllabus requires the study of film in both Stages 4 and 5. When studying film we need to consider how the contexts in which a film is produced and the processes of production, distribution and exhibition are all used to create meaning.
Film is a powerful medium: being primarily visual, it therefore caters to a wide audience. Films can also reflect our society and values, or question them. Films, like all texts that are meant to deliberately communicate with us, are constructed within a particular context and time.
Cinema is a form of popular culture in that it reflects the dominant ideologies (ideas, attitudes, beliefs and values) of our society: films can inculcate ideas and influence thinking. Their power lies in their ability to shape public opinion, create public debate and give rise to fashions and fads. Film is a social communicator so what films say to their audience matters.
But films also entertain us! They are a 20th century phenomenon. They elicit responses – whether it is to laugh, cry, question or protest. When studying a film we consider not only what is being presented but how it is portrayed. Just as with any study of literature we must ascertain the film’s purpose, its message, its plot and story, its characters, and the elements that produce these and create its meaning.
In addition to films that have been included in the annotated list, teachers may want to introduce students to some classic films from particular genres. Metropolis, the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera, Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon are classic films that have a place in a film study unit. Students’ understanding of the Gothic thriller could be enhanced by a study of Hitchcock’s film Rebecca, or of the contemporary Western by such classics as Shane. A classic film musical such as West Side Story may provide a link with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and with the Baz Luhrmann adaptation, Romeo + Juliet (M). An examination of such Australian classics as Charles Chauvel’s Jedda and Phil Noyces’ Newsfront could illustrate the significant contribution of Australian films to the medium. The relationship between literature and film is illuminated by David Lean’s film version of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Great Expectations, or Robert Mulligan’s film of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Most of these films are classified for General exhibition (G) or as films requiring Parental Guidance (PG). They are available on video or DVD. Film scripts could be used in conjunction with the films. Department of Education and Training schools
are directed to the Director-General’s Memorandum to Principals 98/018 Use of Videos in Schools.

Film Stage 4
Babe (G)

Directed by Chris Noonan

Universal Pictures
This ‘tale about an unprejudiced heart’ is based on The Sheep-Pig, written by Dick King-Smith. Babe is a pig whose skill and intelligence leads him to become an outstanding sheepdog. A film study could draw attention to the film’s echoes of silent films, with iris closes and inter-title cards delineating individual segments. Real and artificial creatures are smoothly portrayed together and the film succeeds on many levels and its allusions will appeal to adolescents and adults as well as children.
Baraka (PG)

Directed and filmed by Ron Fricke

Samuel Goldwyn Company

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