Welcome to School by Design!

Another visitor to our site! An unAustralian golden pheasant.

We're here to find (and sometimes develop) beautiful and interesting if often sad classroom materials about the real world.

  • Creative writing- the language of the senses. Scaffolding the skills and tools for complex, interesting scene setting and characterisation.
  • Malcolm Turnbull-analysis of persuasive text. Excerpt from transcipt 7.30 interview
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Notice. 'Uluru Statement from the Heart'
This is a significant and powerful development. If you have material or thoughts on this topic and would like to share, please contact us.

Latest resources

"Good refugee story and resources for teaching or political consciousness raising. Please share" - Prof Marie Brennan, Adjunct Professor, Education Futures, University of South Australia

"...The resource package on refugees is the sort of material I would have loved to have had access to when I was teaching in a high school. Really comprehensive. Such clear layout. Good luck with it. I hope teachers have discovered it." - Author Graeme Sparkes ('You Never Knew my Father')

Reports have told of 'medivac' asylum seekers with urgent medical conditions being untreated and 'crowded in rooms of 20 or more.'

Reports have told of 'medivac' asylum seekers with urgent medical conditions being untreated and 'crowded in rooms of 20 or more.' By comparison, travellers, it is reported, have been facing isolation in first class accommodation with all facilities. What is happening and why? How has Australia arrived at this point? The resource package above looks at the facts, issues and arguments in our recent refugee history.
Picture from Amnesty International asking for safe accommodation for medivac refugees
Amnesty website

Well Queen Tootsie looks gorgeous but underneath- what a monster!

The script has been tested on primary students but not publicised there so few students would have seen it. It is great for primary students but later classes can use it (as with any children's story) for analysing language, intentions, morals and literary devices.

Drama is another activity. Who wouldn't love dashing around, shouting and fleeing? The princesses are a pig, a giraffe and a panda so absolutely gorgeous costumes are required to match Queen Tootsie's!

The script has a fairy tale setting that is traditional and familiar and could lead naturally into discussions about bullying, violence or threats of violence but watch out for the message at the end. It is not traditional at all. A (smidgen) of thanks to Lewis Carroll.

Play: Allan Goedecke, 2019
Illustration: Paul Learmonth, 2019

In Brief

  • 18 May 2020 The major issue of these times is the lock-down or not-to lock-down. The banners of many anti-lock down protestors seem highly disturbing but an argument presenting a anti-lockdown view was recently put by a journalist from 'The Australian' Adam Creighton on the ABC's Drum. If time allows, it is worth a study for a variety of persuasive devices.
  • Topics: Part 1 and Part 2
  • Categories: Persuasive text-media issues-disinformation
  • Subject area(s): English, politics
  • Year levels: Mixed ability text; significant for senior studies
  • Applications: Analysis- oral, written
  • From: SBD team
    NB. Some SBD material is included to stimulate discussion. It may or may not reflect views of the team but we don't post issues that are totally contrived. If it is posted, we think it is worth investigation. Individual articles are generally more developed and signed.

Part 1 Australians: 'selfish', 'stupid' or scapegoats? Swimming at Bondi, hoarding, bad behaviour in supermarkets but...
Comment (Disqus) or send/leave a message

Part 2 Stockpiling? Information throws a different light on media and the 'selfish public'.
New reports, however, are still emerging. See recent media for different slants on these issues.
Comment (Disqus) or send/leave a message

Calling IT students. Some of our visitors mentioned the need for a fair, consistent rationing system. With imports returning, it may not seem urgent but how would you prepare for another crisis? Could it be done? Part 1, Part 2, Feedback.)

Anita's bees.
On Earth Day 2020, Google looked at bees. Why? What might these bees be thinking? (With love from Anita, our artist chef.)

Topic: Use of generalisations about a. politicians b. the public and c. Baby Boomers
Categories: Persuasive/analytical text-media issues
Subject area(s): English, politics
Year levels: Varied but middle to senior studies
Applications: Analysis- oral tasks to persuade, written essays/video/interview to persuade
From: Q&A; Leunig; primary source unclear

Mon 17 Feb 2020. Q&A 'All About Trust'.
Was the 'trust' concept all that it seemed? Questions are crucial. They can be neutral, pure misdirection or anywhere in-between. Where does this episode about 'trust' sit? Latest Resources
Photo above. Guest, Jack Manning Bancroft: AIME Mentoring 'most impressive'.

The Age. 22 Feb. Viral by Leunig

'Every man's a virus
Every woman too...'
- What do you think? What does this mean? Are we all 'infectious'? (Poem under 'Viral')

'Thanks for nothing, baby boomers' the headline says. Is the article fact, fiction, persuasive or all?
Are we all just mean? Do we just enjoy having a go at millions of people we have never met or ...?

Last year 2019

Oct. 2019. Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish climate activist, is our young woman of the month and of our times. She has invigorated world interest in climate action but the enormous public acclaim has been followed by enormous ugliness, hostility and patronizing commentary. Greta's speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit

This is a really good clip of the Swedish interview program Skavlan with film maker Michael Moore and Greta. It starts off slowly but covers some very interesting issues. It adds historical perspective to activism and enables us to reflect on the persuasive power of Greta's presence and skill in slightly different contexts. It is not so much about climate change as persuasion.

Recent Media-continued from above. Some recent articles have added interesting insights to our media/virus themes.

This set of cartoons from the Guardian is about the way big media corporations are moulding us through social media.

Industry Edge
This company says there are no paper supply issues but it also says that 15% of our toilet paper comes from imports. One issue is whether local supplies have been going to to hospitals etc. which formerly used the imports.

The Conversation-How some media are failing us by Stan Grant'in their book Media Power Politics describe how journalists “graft” on drama; they “highlight or concoct conflict” '.

The Conversation 'On Wednesday, the High Court appeared to uphold the principle of press freedom when it ruled that the warrant the Australian Federal Police used to search News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s home in 2019 was invalid.'...'A victory for journalism? Not quite.'

See Previous News for past material

Latest Resources

Refugee Curriculum Package

  Saturday 11th April, 2020

This refugee curriculum material is inspired by the very moving short story by the late Maggie Power. We wanted to do justice to Maggie's...

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Part 2. Stockpiling? Latest information may throw a new light on media stories and the 'selfish public'.

  Friday 3rd April, 2020

See Part 1. Australians: 'thoughtless', 'stupid', 'mean' or scapegoats?

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Part 1. Australians: 'thoughtless', 'stupid', 'mean' or scapegoats?

  Sunday 1st March, 2020

Swimming at Bondi, selfish hoarding, raiding country stores, ignoring advice. Thousands of us, it seems, are thoughtless, stupid, mean or...

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Q&A 17th Feb 2020 Trust'

  Wednesday 19th February, 2020

Mon 17 Feb 2020. Q&A 'All About Trust'. Was the 'trust' concept behind this episode of Q&A all that it seemed? Questions are crucial....

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'Labor Party Results in Australia... very interesting

  Wednesday 24th July, 2019
  Author: Bernice Kelly

A 'rout', a 'humiliation'? 'The 2019 Australian May election saw a sitting conservative government returned with a majority of one seat....

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"Queen Tootsie"- the script

  Wednesday 17th July, 2019
  Author: Allan Goedecke
  Categorised: primary, script, play

Well Queen Tootsie looks gorgeous but underneath- what a monster!

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'After Pousao' by Paul Learmonth

  Wednesday 17th July, 2019

See more works by Paul Learmonth

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Works by Allan Goedecke

  Wednesday 17th July, 2019

This piece was recently banned in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as it showed male nipples. This issue has been referred on but the...

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Research Paper: Miyazaki 'The world's greatest living animator'

  Thursday 27th June, 2019
  Author: Bernice Kelly

The works of renowned Japanese animist Hayao Miyazaki (Guardian, Nausicaa) are of great significance to educators. This essay considers...

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