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Issue 1 2015

In this issue : Articles on Wilfred Owen, Asian texts, The Dream of the Thylacine, Persuasion, student writing, writing for publication, boys and poetry; starting the HSC year. New regular columns on...

Writings from the East

Angelina Bea, Premier’s Teacher’s Scholarship Winner 2013, showcases a range of authentic Asian texts for the English classroom.

The personal is political: Little girls and their worlds in Ursula Dubosarsky’s novels

Kate Murphy examines the construction of young females in Dubosarsky’s The White Guinea Pig and The Red Shoe.

Discovering ‘The Dream of the Thylacine’

Lisa Edwards highlights how to use the richness of this picture book to teach a variety of ideas and concepts.

Accreditation at the Highly Accomplished Level

Danielle Vandenberg shares her experience of the accreditation process.

Writing for Publication

Kerri-Jane Burke provides practical advice to inspire English teachers to publish their work.

Persuasion – the art of rhetoric, propaganda or marketing?

Rod Yule outlines the rich learning opportunities using a resource developed by World Vision Australia.

Related texts for Area of study: Discovery

This regular column is focusing on related texts for the Area of Study: Discovery

The Poetry of Wilfred Owen: A sentimental rebel

Heather Stafford provides pathways into exploring the rich poetry of Owen.

The writing mode and our renewed opportunity to teach syntax

David Strange shares a method of thoroughly assessing student writing samples.

Action research – Making Poetry Engaging

r Linda Gibson-Langford shares the results of her action research project which explores the ways that boys can be engaged by poetry.

Teaching the HSC

Teaching the HSC ! Jane Sherlock and Deb McPherson provide advice for teachers when starting the journey of the HSC English course with their students.


Novels: Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle de Krester; Captives by Angela Meyer; The Tribe by Michael Mohammed Ahmed; Poetry: brush by joanne burns; Criticism: Alex Miller: The ruin of time by Rob...

Picture Books and Perspective: Zoo and The House of Narcissus

Kate Murphy examines how the narrator’s perspective in Zoo and The House of Narcissus can be used to explore key themes.

Music Videos – Multimodal Texts to Engage and Inspire

Kerri-Jane Burke demonstrates the value of analysing music videos as texts.

Listening: The Forgotten Mode

Stefanie Lia provides a practical guide to developing listening skills in the English classroom.

Your School TV News Program

Tim Creighton shows the benefits of students composing their own TV news program.

The Literary Voice

Heather Stafford explores the concept of ‘voice’ from a linguistic perspective.

Time in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Angela Rose examines the significance of time in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Conflict in Romeo and Juliet

Mel Dixon provides resources to help students explore conflict in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Camera Rolling and Action

Tim Creighton outlines the steps involved in a movie making project that will help develop students’ understanding of film.

Why Sentences Matter

Jane Sloan highlights the difficulties and the importance of the writing process.

Environmental Fears in Science Fiction

Angela Rose looks at how fears about the environment have a direct link to the genre of Science Fiction.

The Value of Twitter

Danielle Vandenberg demonstrates how Twitter can be used for professional networking and collegial support.

Teaching Shakespeare in Stage 5

David Strange shows how a study of Macbeth can be enhanced by applying the different modes.


Reviews: Novels : Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks; The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna ; Short story collection : The Promise by Tony Birch; Teacher Resources : A comprehensive guide to cla...

2014 Issue 4

This edition of mETAphor contains articles on picture books, the Kibble awards, music videos, the listening mode, voice, Harry Lavender, Romeo and Juliet, the power of sentences, twitter and reviews a...

The Stream of Communal Ideas: Reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Fay Weldon’s Letters to Alice in context

Associate Professor Rosalind Smith places the two Module A texts Letters to Alice and Pride and Prejudice into a theoretical perspective that responds to the Module aims.

Attacking Hamlet from Left Field: How to create an original response

David Strange offers a new approach to Hamlet.

Panic Stations: Post-war Experience and Writing After the Bomb

Dr Melissa Hardie shows how Le Carre and Plath can be read as part of the Extension elective After the Bomb.

Idealism in Literature: A Conceptual Unit of Work

Saurabh Bhattancharya presents a unit outline for a preliminary Area of Study on Idealism using Thoreau and Chekhov.

The Justice Game as a Related text for Module C: Representing People and Politics

David Strange shows us how to keep what we know for Module C.

Artistic Wrecking ball or Loving Translation? Turning Joyce’s classic story ‘The Dead’ into film

Rogan Jacobson looks closely at the short story ‘The Dead’ by James Joyce (in The Dubliners ) and its translation into film.

2014 Issue 3

This Issue

Writing Analytical Sentences – The DIAS Way

Mel Dixon devises an acronym DIAS to develop awareness of different sentences used for analytical writing and offers some activities to teach this.


Kerri-Jane Burke and Mel Dixon review novels: The Gravedigger’s Book by Neil Garman; Nona and Me by Clare Atkins; As Stars Fall by Christie Nieman; The Protected by Claire Zorn

HSC Standard Module A Elective 2: The distinctively visual world of Vertigo

Kerri-Jane Burke proves how interesting this novel Vertigo by Australian author Amanda Lohrey is to teach, offering an overview balanced with close reading.

TS Eliot: Modernism and Religion in The Waste Land, Ash Wednesday and The Hollow Men

Rogan Jacobson analyses TS Eliot’s poems focusing on religion and modernism. The Hollow Men is a prescribed poem for Module B Advanced.

Discovery in Advertising

Mel Dixon offers a lesson to use for the Area of Study Discovery.

Language devices in Hamlet

David Strange’s example of language devices in Hamlet are connected to meaning and effect, providing a model for students.

By the River: Innovative techniques and the verse novel form

Kate O’Connor’s reading of Herrick’s verse novel as experimental fiction offers an excellent example of locating complexity in a simple text.

Contemporary poetry as a stimulus for imaginative writing for the new Area of Study Discovery: ‘Pitihaya’ by US poet Craig Arnold

Tony Britten presents ways of teaching poetry to stimulate imaginative writing on Discovery in the classroom focusing on the poem ‘Pitihaya’.

Seeing Frankenstein and Blade Runner through different eyes

Mel Dixon traces the motif of eyes in Frankenstein and Blade Runner and shows how a close reading lends itself to a contextual comparison.

Prosody and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’

David Strange demonstrates how important metre is in supporting the themes of Sonnets of the Portuguese.

Great Expectations and the language of Belonging

Julie Wilson shows how close study of the language of Dickens enhances our understanding of Belonging in the text.

Challenging your students through film: a unit for stage 5

Dianne Bond uses TropFest, Hollywood and Bollywood films to teach Stage 5 students film appreciation.


Reviews: Short story collection: David Malouf: The complete stories by David Malouf; Novels: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner; That Untravelled World by Ian Reid Play: The Secret River by Kate Grenv...

2014 Issue 2

This issue has great hints for all year levels. For this year's HSC find: Hamlet, Frankenstein/Bladerunner, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Great Expectations. Some ideas for the new HSC: Discovery, Vert...

2014 Issue 1

In this issue : interview with Melissa Harrison author of Clay (Advanced Module C); articles on metacognition, online games and race, Discovery, Animal Farm and digital storytelling research.

Interview with Melissa Harrison author of Clay

Tony Britten uses the Module C framework to interview Melissa Harrison author of the author of Clay a Module C text.

Constructions of Race in online games

Helen Young shows how online games perpetuate stereotypes of race.

Metacognition, self-regulation and the new NSW syllabus

Michelle Bannister-Tyrell and Deidre Clary give and overview of some metacognitive approaches and how to adapt these to the classroom.

Try this: Identity/Discovery

Mel Dixon shares a lesson that can work for an identity or Discovery unit.

Old tricks, New tricks

Sharon Jones and Alex Wharton share some tried and true lesson ideas for the classroom.

Using poetry to explore the concept of discovery

Michael Murray applies the Discovery rubric to unpack Hopkins’ poetry.

Using Additional texts in the HSC: History and Memory and Discovery

Derek Peat introduces some interesting texts that can be used for History and Memory and Discovery .

Shakespeare shouldn’t be taught in schools

Phil Thomson in the UK delivers a provocative challenge to teachers of Shakespear e in this blog.

Animal Farm for all learners

Stefanie Lia shows how to scaffold teaching a canonical text, Animal Farm, to average students, using clear lessons.

Fostering Creativity through Digital Storytelling

Peta Gresham writes about research she conducted with her students on digital storytelling.


Novels: Run by Tim Sinclair; Writing: Dear Writer revisited: The classic guide to writing fiction by Carmel Bird; Poetry: Australian Love Poems 2013 e dited by Mark Tredinnick; Drama : The Voices Pro...

2013 Issue 4

In issue 4, find discussion and lessons on: Interactive narratives; Macbeth; Ten Canoes; The Black Balloon ; using Edmodo creatively; Conflicting Perspectives; Integrating grammar into programs; and ...

Interactive Narratives

Mike Jones places interactive narratives on the continuum of storytelling.

Libraries, Ebooks audiobooks and BYOD

Darcy Moore extends our understanding of new ways of reading.

Ten Canoes

Emma Le Marquand proves that Ten Canoes has a lot to offer for the classroom as a film and a cultural experience.

Macbeth: classroom ideas

Rachel Wells offers some interesting lessons on Macbeth creating links with contemporary student worlds.

The Language of conflicting perspectives

Mel Dixon looks at how a close study of language study offers insight into conflicting perspectives in The Justice Game .

Integrating Grammar

Stewart Mc Gowan shares a scope and sequence and lesson plans for Year 7 showing how one school integrated grammar into their persuasion unit and novel unit on Parvanna .

The Black Balloon

Ailsa Mackerras shows how film techniques support the plot in this overview of the film The Black Balloon .

Pooled laptops and Edmodo

Steve Wallis conducts a survey of attitudes to pooled laptops . He demonstrates the creativity possible I with Edmodo by sharing a lesson and student work samples on Chinese Cinderella.


Gersha Shteyman reviews novels for: Stage 4 : General Dourakine by Comtesse de Segur and Stephanie Smee; Hatched; Shahana by Rosanne Hawke; Stage 6: Trafficked by Kim Purcell; Defending Jacob by Will...

When we freeze we die

Rogan Jacobson provides a comparative reading centred on way the protagonsits of Le Carre’s The Spy who came in from the Cold and Greene’s The Quiet American , negotiate their lives in a world after ...

Fostering creativity

Karen Yager offers lesson plans and assessment ideas for a creative classroom .

Literacy in English

Stewart Mc Gowan shows how the right questions and guidance can lead to better HSC writing.

Note making Note taking

Christopher Lindsay devises interesting lessons to develop critical skills in students, using Nim’s Island

Postcard project

Carla Saunders shows us one way of creating a global classroom through writing.

Romulus my Father

Pamela Cohen shares her lessons on Romulus my Father and belonging with exercises on context and chapters.

PBL in the classroom

Bianca Hewes shows just how creative PBL classes can be especially at the level of Extension.

Novel Ideas

Gersha Shteyman gives tips for creating an active novel study classroom.

Teaching Strategies from Ross Clark’s Writing Poetry Masterclass

Kerri-Jane Burke shares some creative ways of writing poetry that she learnt from the poet Ross Clark in a conference masterclass.


Teacher resources : Language Investigations ; IB Diploma course Companion ; The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels ; Year 12 English Skills ; Novels: The Maze Runner , The Scorch Trials , The Death Cure ,...

2013 Issue 3

This issue of mETAphor is filled with practical ideas for the classroom teacher. Read about Australian Miles Franklin and Kibble Awards books that you can use in the classroom, After the Bomb, PBL, c...

2013 Issue 2

This edition of mETAphor looks at creative writing, visual literacy, theoretical readings, filmmaking and lots more.

Patrick White’s The Aunt’s Story

Professor of Australian Literature Robert Dixon offers a Lacanian reading of Patrick White’s modernist novel The Aunt’s Story.

The Art of English: Art and Literacy

Susie May from the National Gallery of Victoria demonstrates just how powerful art can be in stimulating creativity with sample student responses.

Authentic Teaching in the English Studies classroom

Chrissy Payne shares some strategies she uses to encourage students to stimulate engagement in the English Studies classroom.

HSC Imaginative Writing Paper 1

Karen Yager offers a plethora of original ideas on ways to encourage a spirit of creative writing in the HSC classroom.

Narrative and Storymaking in Education and Change

Deb Simpson uses Tim Winton to show the impact of narrative on environmental campaigns – followed by a classroom exercise applying these ideas.

Strategies for The Simple Gift

Stefanie Lia offers practical advice on ways to help students with Herrick’s The Simple Gift

Experiment in Filmmaking

Steven Wallis shares his success with Year 8 Gifted class doing filmmaking.

Billy Elliot and Critical Pedagogy

Mel Dixon shows how critical pedagogy can give insights into the Module C standard text Billy Elliot

Teachers matter: 2013 conference

Thinking skills, teacher feedback, brain research are some of the important influences on pedagogy that are discussed by Stefanie Lia in this conference reflection with some exercises for the classro...

Student engagement with Shakespeare

Angela Rose gives insight into Shakespearean audiences in the past.

Applying literary theory in the secondary classroom

Sian Evans offers accessible definitions of theoretical perspectives and applies these to Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘Brill’ as an example.


Textbooks : Persuasive Language in Media Texts; Macmillan National English Skills; English is… 7; Media Reloaded; The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels; Year 12 English Skills– Student Workbook; Year 11 ...

Processes of Meaning

This PowerPoint presentation opens up the processes of meaning making in the discipline of English. It may be useful in mapping the subject for conceptual based programming.

2013 Issue 1

This edition of mETAphor covers a great range of topics from the practical to the intellectually engaging for Stages 4 to 6 including: Creative Writing competitions, Visual Literacy, ICT, language, an...

Australian Literature and the World Republic of Letters

Professor Robert Dixon, Professor of Australian Literature at the University of Sydney makes a strong argument about the relationship of a national literature to world literature, locating three dist...

Is complexity a con? The false dilemma between plain language and literature

Dr Neil James argues that a plain English approach to writing does not diminish its value but enhances it.

Memories Moments and Musings about Harwood

Aaron Dewhurst and James Brown interview Dr Alison Hoddinott, academic and also friend of Gwen Harwood for insights into her poetry.
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