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Reading between the lines: developing skills to analyse political cartoons

In this unit of work students consider how cartoonists work by identifying a number of key elements that exist in good political cartoons. Students are provided with examples of the best political cartoons from the National Museum of Australia's 2007 'Behind the Lines' political cartooning exhibition and the national schools ...

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A look at author Bob Graham's books

Books by the Australian children's author Bob Graham have a very individual and recognisable style. Find out why his work is featured in the Lu Rees Australian Children's Literature Archive housed in Canberra. Identify some of the features that characterise his work.

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Redefining marriage: analysing an argument

Why do people get married? Around the world, some people marry for love while others marry for social or pragmatic reasons, including economic ones. In this clip, filmed in 1973, explore the arguments of leading anthropologist Dr Margaret Mead as she challenges many of the ideas about marriage that were current at the time.

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Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

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Stories that bite: our fascination with vampires

From medieval folklore to multiplex cinemas, few monsters capture our imaginations as vampires do. Why is it that we have such a morbid fascination with the undead? Not all vampires are the same, though. In this clip, explore some of the explanations for the changing nature of vampires in literature.

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The influence of context on our reading choices

Explore the concept of the cult novel. In this clip, listen to a Jennifer Byrne Presents panel discussion about the factors that influence our appreciation of books and about how our appreciation of books changes over time.

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The spoken word: Rap artist Sage Francis

What role do social issues play in popular music? While some rap music glorifies 'gangster' culture, many artists use it to express their views about things that concern them. One such artist is Sage Francis. In this clip, discover how this rap battle champion uses his art to explore important and controversial social issues.

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Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

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Speaking figuratively on closing the gap

Similes, metaphors, idioms, clich�s � Although commonly found in literary texts, figurative language can also be a feature of expository texts. In this excerpt from Prime Minister Tony Abbott's 2014 'Closing the Gap' speech, explore how figurative language can be used to enhance the impact a text has on its audience. This ...

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The creation of Trowenna

Different cultures around the world have their own creation stories, explaining how this planet and all the places on it were formed. These stories can tell us much about what is important to each culture. This story, from the Nuenonne people of Bruny Island, explains how Tasmania, known to them as Trowenna, was formed.

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Clause for concern in closing the gap

Clever speakers do more than just use well-known persuasive techniques such as rhetorical questions and emotive language. They shape the very structure of their sentences to focus the audience's attention on the ideas in particular clauses. It is a subtle but powerful technique to manipulate listeners. This clip is last ...

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The story behind 'Jasper Jones'

'Jasper Jones' is a novel that recently featured on a list of '10 Aussie books to read before you die'. Does it belong on the list? Many texts make connections to other texts but is this novel too close a retelling of the classic American novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'? Explore the concept of 'intertextuality' in this clip.

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Salman Rushdie: breaking story-writing rules

Have you ever had the experience of being taught the 'rules' of story writing and then gone on to read one that seems to break every one of those rules? Are there really any rules to story writing? In this clip, discover why renowned author Salman Rushdie experiments with narrative conventions.

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Dire warning for Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre is located in northern South Australia and receives its water from the rivers in south west and central Queensland. This news story focuses on the impact of changes proposed by the Queensland Government to the upstream river system and responses to these changes.

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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 ...

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Tension in the air

In this Heywire audio story, explore how Marguerite Donaldson builds tension as she recounts a nerve-wracking incident that happened while she was flying one day. Find out what this incident has revealed to her and how she shares her thoughts. Could you write or record a similar story about yourself and/or your community? ...

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Tragic love triangle in 'The Great Gatsby'

Who will Daisy Buchanan choose when she finds herself torn between the love of two men in F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic novel, 'The Great Gatsby'? Draw on the discussion in this audio clip to improve your skills in developing character in creative writing. The clip from 'Books and arts daily' on Radio National is one ...

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Woolly holiday

For Genevieve Wright, the first day of school holidays means heading to the shearing shed to spend a day of back-breaking work! As you listen to her Heywire audio story, explore Genevieve's characterisation of herself. How does she reflect her personality through the descriptions of her actions and environment?<br /><br ...

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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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When I'm riding, I don't think about my Asperger's

Jordan Gyss, who was born with Asperger's syndrome, says he found life before cycling 'one giant pain'. In this Heywire audio story, he describes how competitive cycling helps him manage his condition while providing a source of excitement and challenge. Could you write or record a similar story about yourself and/or your ...