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Item 1: Backward Design - UNIT PLAN TEMPLATE
Title: What type of character are you?
Year Level: 6

Teacher: David Favaloro

Focus Curriculum Area (s): English, History, and Drama

Duration: 12 lessons

STAGE 1: Curriculum Links


Year Level



Ethical Behaviour

Personal and Social


Aboriginal and TSI

Histories and Culture

Asia and Australias

Engagement with Asia

By the end of Year 6,
students understand how
the use of text structures
can achieve particular
effects. They analyse and
explain how language
features, images and
vocabulary are used by
different authors to
represent ideas, characters
and events (ACARA, 2016).

Understand how authors often innovate on text
structures and play with language features to
achieve particular aesthetic, humorous and
persuasive purposes and effects (Australian
Curriculum Assessment, and Reporting Authority
(ACARA), 2016, ACELA1518)
Investigate how vocabulary choices, including
evaluative language can express shades of meaning,
feeling and opinion (ACARA, 2016, ACELA1525)
Make connections between students own
experiences and those of characters and events
represented in texts drawn from different historical,
social and cultural contexts (ACARA, 2016,
Experiment with text structures and language
features and their effects in creating literary texts, for
example, using imagery, sentence variation,
metaphor and word choice (ACARA, 2016,
Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying
and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting
arguments, sharing and evaluating information,
experiences and opinions (ACARA, 2016,
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and
persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with

Critical and Creative


Year Level

Students compare and

analyse information in
different and complex texts,
explaining literal and
implied meaning. They
select and use evidence
from a text to explain their
response to it. They listen to
discussions, clarifying
content and challenging
others ideas.
Students understand how
language features and
language patterns can be
used for emphasis. They
explain how their choices of
language features and
images are used. Students
create detailed texts
elaborating on key ideas for
a range of purposes and

text structures, language features, images and digital

resources appropriate to purpose and audience
(ACARA, 2016, ACELY1714)
Re-read and edit students own and others work
using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices
(ACARA, 2016, ACELY1715)
Use a range of software, including word processing
programs, learning new functions as required to
create texts (ACARA, 2016, ACELY1717)
Examine different viewpoints on actions, events,
issues and phenomena in the past and present
(ACARA, 2016, ACHASSI127)
Key figures, events and ideas that led to Australias
Federation and Constitution (ACARA, 2016,
Visual Arts
Explore ideas and practices used by artists, including
practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
artists, to represent different views, beliefs and
opinions (ACARA, 2016, ACAVAM114)
Explore dramatic action, empathy and space in
improvisations, playbuilding and scripted drama to
develop characters and situations (ACARA, 2016,

audiences. They make

presentations and
contribute actively to class
and group discussions,
using a variety of strategies
for effect. They demonstrate
an understanding of
grammar, and make
considered vocabulary
choices to enhance
cohesion and structure in
their writing. They use
accurate spelling and
punctuation for clarity and
make and explain editorial
choices based on criteria
(ACARA, 2016).
They describe the causes
and effects of change on
society. They compare the
experiences of different
people in the past. Students
describe, compare and
explain the diverse
characteristics of different
places in different locations
from local to global scales.
They describe how people,
places, communities and
environments are diverse
and globally interconnected
and identify the effects of
these interconnections over
time (ACARA, 2016).
By the end of Year 6,
students explain how ideas
are represented in artworks
they make and view
(ACARA, 2016).



How characters are described in stories.

Create stories based on a new character and setting.

How authors represent characters in their stories.

Describe personalities of characters represented in

diverse multimodal exts and in their own stories.

How to create personality for characters in

students own story.
How settings contribute to changes in a characters
How fictional characters can be based on real-life

Explaining how language features and word choices

are used to represent characters and events.
Use a thesaurus to select and use improved words to
enhance story details

How fictional characters can be placed in real world
or imaginative situations.
Characters can be represented in many forms of
text (comic strips, imaginative text).

Reflect of descriptive techniques used in the

Essential Questions

How descriptive language enhance characters,

setting and story telling.

How can I make my writing more descriptive?

Write effectively for a wide variety of audiences

and purposes.

How can I improve my writing through careful word


Essential Questions
How do effective writers hook and hold their
How effective are the descriptions in diverse texts in
painting an image in our mind as we read?

LEARNING OUTCOMES: What relevant goals will this unit of work address? Draw these out of the content descriptors
and the achievement standards.
Students will be able to......
- Communicate effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using setting, ideas, issues and language
forms and features to express shades of meaning, feelings and opinions of diverse character traits.
- Compose, edit and present well-structured and coherent texts that emphasises the use of descriptive language
features and patterns.
- Participate and contribute in group discussions that clarify and investigate the concept of characterisation and
how descriptive language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and
- Identify and consider how different viewpoints are represented in texts and compare these viewpoints of
characters represented by authors to students own experience, including viewpoints from Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander artists on aspects of events from Australias past and present.


Task description:
Task 1. Main Summative Assessment Task
DC and Marvel Comics NEED YOU!
DC and Marvel Comics have run out of ideas for a new character in their next comic book. They have asked you
to create a new character with an original background story, in the form of a comic strip. DC and Marvel require a
4 6 comic strip that contains original settings and characters that are descriptive in detail! It can be fictional or
based on real-life events.
Task: Create a 4 6 strip comic based on an original comic book character in a new setting.

1. Determine your characters personality and their setting. You might consider the following:
Who is your target audience?
Is your character a hero or villain?
Does your character have super powers?
What is your characters background story?
2. Describe your character and their background using appropriate and effective descriptive language.
3. Presentation of comic.
Comics can be represented by the following:
- Hand drawn creating a comic booklet using A4 paper
- Hand drawn as one big poster
- On computer using digital software such as powerpoint
4. Students work in pairs or groups of three.
5. Due date: at the end of unit of work.

Task 2: Class Response Activities: Students will complete a range of text response activities.
1. Students will read diverse texts and complete the reflective written worksheet on the characters and setting
associated with selected text.
2. Students discuss elements of texts with the class and investigate how the author has represented their
characters and their intended audience.
3. Students provide a written review of each book and video read.
4. All reviews will be collected prior to the due date of the final task for feedback.

Task 3: Inside Out

1. Student watch the movie Inside Out
2. Students select a character from the movie and describe that characters personality traits.
3. Students are given different a scenario and personality trait that will need to be demonstrated
4. Students may have the choice to act out their given scenario and personality trait and record it, or they may
draw it and placed in their scrap book.
5. Task is due on lesson

Assessment Criteria:
Discuss language choice and characterisation
Ability to respond from character perspective
Discuss settings
Content/ descriptive details
Language choices
Text structure
Spelling/ grammar
Derived from Achievement Standard or Content Descriptions and Skills or Scope and Sequence
Assessment recording template:
Task 1: Rubric - Refer to appendix A
Task 2: Scrapbook - Refer to Appendix B
Task 3: Scrapbook

Task 2 and 3 Descriptive and effective Feedback
Reminder prompts - How can you make the description of the character more striking?
Scaffold prompts - Why dont you try using a simile to describe how your character moves?
Example prompts Why dont you try using a simile to describe your character? Try He ran as fast as a cheetah
Task 1 - Motivational and Evaluative Feedback

Provide feedback in the rubric that is encouraging and supportive.

Tasks 2 and 3 and lessons
Students discuss with peers about their understanding of how characters are represented in diverse text
Students reflect on texts they have read and how they interpret the authors meaning to character creation.
Students reflect on given feedback on work from the teacher and peers
Task 1:
Students reflect on given feedback on work from the teacher and peers


What events will help students:
Experience and explore the enduring understandings and essential questions in the unit?
How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?
Achieve the desired results identifies in Stage 1?
Equip students to complete the assessment tasks identified in Stage 2?
Learning Experiences

Assessment For/As
Learning (Formative

What are some of the students favorite scenes from a
movie, book, or real-life event? What do they like about

What are students

existing understandings
of descriptive language?

Show students different representations of characters

from movies, books, and paintings. Ask students to
describe the character and how they affect the scenes
they are in.

How is descriptive
language used to

What is descriptive language?

How do authors use descriptive language to tell a story?
Where can characters be represented?

Take notes of students

existing knowledge
related to descriptive

Introduce the concept of comic books

Students draw their version of their favorite character in a
setting of their own choosing.

Students share their own versions of their favorite

character and their scene and describe the characteristics

What could be added to

their character to make


Landing of Captain
Cook at Botany
Bay, 1770 by E.
Phillips Fox (1902)
(National Gallery of
Victoria, 2016)
Pictures of diverse
pop culture
example by kk

The invention of
Hugo Cabret by

used. Invite peers to provide positive feedback.

Demonstrate positive feedback.
Introduce the class novel the Invention of Hugo Cabret
and discuss the characters and settings.
Compare detailed vs. not detailed characters:
Harry had red hair and blue eyes. He wore sunglasses.
The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was
a freckle on his forehead.
Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, red hair and brightblue eyes. He wore sporty sunglasses that were jet black
and shiny. The only thing Harry liked about his own
appearance was a very small freckle on his forehead
which people always complimented him on.
Create a chart as a whole class depicting the characters
traits from the novel.

them more striking?

Brian Selznick.

How has the author

described the
How has the author used
settings to contribute to
changes in the
characters personality?
Create a character chart
for each character in the
novel and list descriptive
words to find their
personality trait.
Take notes of student
participation during
whole class activity.

Characters based on real-life events

As a whole class, Introduce and read the story titled The
Rabbits by John Marsden and discuss the main allegory
used in the story. During shared reading, invite students
to identify specific text and illustration features the author
and illustrator uses to describe the events and how they
relate to the main concept of the story. This includes
examining noun and verb-based words and how they are
used to tell the story.

Discuss with students

how the author has used
key events from
Australias history from
the perspective of
Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples.
Create a mind map using
Popplet to describe the
authors intentions.

- What can you see in the picture?

- Discuss the link between the illustrations and the text
- Do any objects or characters in the illustrations have a
symbolic meaning? May have to discuss what symbolism
is here.
- How does this picture make them feel?

Why did the author use

rabbits to represent

Students read the next chapter of the class novel


The Rabbits by
John Marsden
Popplet online

Students fill in the

reflective worksheet that
asks to describe the
characters and events in
the story.
Students write down
unknown words from the
text in their words list to
practice on.

How characters obtain personality - part 1 (Carry over into

Drama lesson)
Watch the first half of the Disney movie Inside Out and

Take notes of student

participation during
whole class activity.
Students explore
dramatic action, empathy
and space in

DVD Inside Out

discuss the synopsis of the movie.

Present students with a different scenario and personality
trait that will need to be demonstrated
Students may have the choice to act out given scenarios
and personality traits and record it, or they may draw it
and placed in their scrapbook.

playbuilding and scripted

drama to develop
characters and
Provide effective
feedback on student
performances. What
body movements can be
used to enhance the
characters emotions?
Provide scaffolding
feedback to students
who draw out their
personality traits and
scenario. What facial
expressions can be used
to show the character
feeling surprised? Lets
try researching surprised
facial expressions on the
How does the setting
connect with the
characters emotions?

How characters obtain personality - part 2

Watch the second half of the Disney movie Inside Out
and discuss how the writers connect the characters to the
scenes in the movie.
Select a character and favorite scene from the movie and
re-create it as one picture with a caption. Students may
use computer software to draw their picture.

Take notes on students

understanding of
character traits during
performance and in their
drawings. Have students
used detailed descriptive
language that captures
the characters
Walk around the room to
offer explicit feedback to
What do students know
about caption in story
Are students able to
relate personality traits to
the setting?
Homework: Students fill
in the reflective
worksheet for the movie
and read 10 pages from
the class novel.

DVD Inside Out

Students share pictures and discuss their choice of

character, setting and descriptive language for their

Have students used

descriptive language
effectively in their scene?

Introduce comic strips by viewing the Youtube video and

discus the structure of comic strips and caption use.
Explain how a comic strip works. Explain how it is read:
boxes left to right in rows, the difference between speech,
thought, and exclamation bubbles, etc.

Teacher walks around

room to provide explicit
feedback to students
writing reviews

Where can comics be found?

What types of comics are there?

Students reflect and write a review on a peers existing

scene and provide positive and constructive feedback.

Inform students that they will be making a comic strip in

pairs or as a group of three, as part of their final
assessment. Students select pairs or group.
Homework: Students select a comic book to take home to
read and complete the reflective worksheet on their
chosen comic book. Students think of and write notes
based on an original character.

Students collaborate with peers and discuss their original

character ideas and what setting would best incorporate
their characters personality.
Pairs and groups select and read another comic book
together and fill in the reflective worksheet. Pairs and
groups create a draft synopsis for their comic book strip.
Homework: Read 10 pages of the class novel

- Are you able to

describe the character in
the scene?
- Has the author
provided enough detail to
describe the character?
- Has the setting been
used effectively with the
characters personality?
- Does the author use
effective descriptive
language in their
- What do you think can
be added to improve the
Students self assess
work to provide
constructive feedback to

Teacher observes
students reading comic
books and offers explicit
- What descriptive words
have been used to
describe this character?
-How has the setting
enhanced the characters
personality in this scene?
- Have students
planned, drafted and
imaginative, informative
and persuasive texts,
choosing and
experimenting with text
structures, language
features, images and

The history of
comic books by
example of comics.
Diverse range of
comic books.

digital resources
appropriate to purpose
and audience
Teacher collects
students reflective
worksheets for review.
- Do students understand
the target audience when
creating characters?
- Have students
experimented with text
structures using
descriptive language to
understand how authors
often innovate on text
structures and play with
language features to
achieve particular
aesthetic, humorous and
persuasive purposes and
- Have students made
connections between
their own experiences
and those of characters
and events represented
in texts drawn from
different historical, social
and cultural contexts
8 -

Students create their comic strips for their main

assessment task.
Students continue reading the class novel each lesson
until they finish the book.
Student explore comic creators on the computer to
develop their understanding of text structures in comic
Hand back feedback for reflective worksheets in lesson

Item 2: Explanation of Plan.

Have students
investigated how
vocabulary choices,
including evaluative
language can express
shades of meaning,
feeling and opinion?
Are students online
comic creations
demonstrative of
descriptive characters
and setting and builds
towards their
understanding of

Comic Creator
Read, Write, Think
Comic Master

The unit of work focuses on the English concept of characterisation, which involves building student
understanding towards describing how authors develop personality traits of characters in a story and how
descriptive language and settings enhance and influence diverse characters personality. Students will learn
to analyse and explain how different authors to represent ideas, characters and events using language
features, images and vocabulary. This unit of work focuses on the English curriculum in relation to forming
text structure and organisation using descriptive language to express shades of meaning, feeling and
opinions with characters and their contributing setting (ACARA, 2016). Students develop their knowledge by
correlating their own experiences and characters represented in texts, which can be expressed within group
discussions to clarify and interrogate ideas, share information and experiences (ACARA, 2016). The unit of
work provides cross-curriculum opportunities in history, humanities and social sciences, and drama. For
example, students examine different viewpoints on events in the past, particularly events that led to
Australias federation from the perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The learning
outcomes are designed to align with curriculum standards. For example, Students develop character
understanding through exploring dramatic performances and can complete learning tasks with use of a
range of software to create texts (ACARA, 2016). The learning tasks will enable students to develop as self
assessors through re-reading and editing others work and explain their editing choices when learning about

A backwards design approach has been used in this unit of work and begins with the end desired results. It
then develops the curriculum from the evidence of learning that aligns with the ACARA standard and the
teaching pedagogies needed to enhance student learning (Wiggins, 2001). Students participate in learning
activities that build towards planning, drafting and publishing an imaginative comic strip that experiments
with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience
(ACARA, 2016). It also aligns assessment to identify student needs, which guide teaching and learning
priorities to determine whether learning goals have been achieved (Wiggins, 2001). For example, students
are given the option to demonstrate their understanding of descriptive language through oral, visual
(drawing and acting), or in writing tasks. The backwards design approach helps connect all key areas of
learning, which involves aligning ACARA content descriptors with learning outcomes, pedagogies and
learning experiences, and assessment tasks that meet ACARA achievement standards.

In the unit plan, characterisation resources have been selected to provide appropriate information to help
develop students understanding of character development, and specific instructional methods have been
implemented that connect learning with a given standard. For example, students analyse and explain how
language features, images and vocabulary are used by John Marsden to represent ideas, characters and
events in the story the Rabbits. Students will complete a new reflective worksheet for every text they read
to demonstrate their understanding of descriptive language use and connections between their own

experiences and those characters represented in the texts. From the learning experiences, students are
able to use descriptive language obtained and connect it with their own experiences in the real world. Using
a backwards design helps identify desired goals, determines acceptable assessment evidence, and plans
for effective learning experiences (Wiggins, 2001). This will help teachers clarify their goals and results in a
high-quality teaching and learning experiences (Wiggins, 2001). From this, students perform better knowing
their goals, which lead to better student performance (Wiggins, 2001) in their learning.
Assessment activities should be authentic, meaningful, and motivating to the students, as it enables them to
reflect and connect their learning to real life situations (Readman & Allen, 2013). For example, Students are
exposed to characters that are both fictional and non-fictional, which are represented in real-life situations.
As students explore and review character representation by different authors, students are able to delve
deeper into how descriptive language enhances character representation. For example, students are first
shown still pictures of characters and then explore how authors use descriptive language and settings to
enhance the characters personality in different situations. Selecting and allowing students to choose
inspirational characters will help build student interest towards deeper learning and encourages students to
want to learn and know more. Using interactive technology such as comic creators, hands on activities such
as creating original characters, and student centered participation (student debates and discussions) will
help the students remain motivated and creates diverse effective learning experiences.

There are three main types of assessments used in this unit plan, diagnostic, formative, and summative.
With diagnostic assessment, teachers are able to understand what students know and what needs to be
known (Burns, 2010). Information collected from diagnostic assessment will help determine the teachers
professional judgment and what instructional decisions need to be made to further guide students learning
(Burns, 2010). For example, in the lesson one, students are asked to explain their favorite movie or book
scene to find students existing knowledge of descriptive language. From the information obtained in note
taking, future learning can be modified to develop students understanding on the concept of
characterisation that cater to their learning needs and interests. For example, teachers will be able to seek
additional resources (newspapers, political figures, etc.) that depict diverse character trait examples. This
will build towards students general capability in considering what it might be like to walk in another persons
shoes and understanding other peoples emotions and viewpoints (ACARA, 2016). Students each have a
unique level of existing learning skills. Diagnostic assessment used effectively in this unit plan will seek and
address differences where necessary by a combination of adjusting evidence-based methods of instruction,
modifying curriculum content (Westwood, 2013) to meet individual students learning needs.

The use of formative assessment provides evidence in learning that allow teachers and students to make
changes to enhance students learning experiences (Popham, 2009). This will allow students to use the

information experienced in assessment for learning and apply it to assessment of their learning (Readman
& Allen, 2013). The unit plan requires the teacher to observe students learning process and ask questions
that may enhance their learning towards their learning goals. For example, when reading The Rabbits by
John Marsden, the teacher might ask, why did the author use rabbits to represent characters? to enhance
students understanding of character representation. The teacher may also walk around the classroom and
observe students individual work and ask how have you connected the setting with the characters
personality? that will help the student think about their existing work and identify and improvements
needed. It helps the student stay focused on composing coherent texts that use descriptive language to
enhance character development and demonstrates an approach to providing for the learner using positive
and constructive feedback.

Feedback is a key ingredient for this unit plan in achieving student learning outcomes. Feedback is most
effective when it is positive and constructive, as it translates information that helps a student move towards
achieving their goal (Readman & Allen, 2013). Effective feedback is encouraged in this unit plan to help
students understand their desired goal, provides evidence about their status in relation to that goal, and
provides guidance with strategies for achieving the goal (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2009). For
example, complimenting on what students have done right before offering constructive feedback in lesson
4. the teacher has the opportunity to view students current understanding of characterisation through either
a dramatic performance or in a drawing. This enables the teacher to provide explicit feedback on students
progress and offer any improvements they may need. Positive and constructive feedback will enhance
students motivation and build their self-confidence to self-correct. This is demonstrated in lesson 2, where
students are invited to provide positive feedback on their peers character work, which helps build students
emotional stability. Students who are motivated will demonstrate greater persistence and effort than
students with low achievement motivation (Killan, 2005). Effective learning experiences will help students
become their own assessors, which enable them to reflect on their own future work and enact strategies
that progress towards their learning goals (Readman & Allen, 2013). Engaging with two-way feedback helps
identify learning needs and what can be changed in the learning experience to help students achieve their
learning goals.

A main summative task has been designed to gather evidence of learning that enables teachers to
document a students level of achievement at a point in time (Readman & Allen, 2013). In the unit plan, the
task requires planning, drafting, and publishing an imaginative text through a comic book structure. It is an
authentic task that relates to student interest and can connect to real-life and imaginative situations.
Authentic learning experiences shift a student from the role of a passive knowledge receiver into a more
active role as a constructor of meaning (Wiggins, 2001). The assessment task constructively aligns with the
learning outcomes and teaching and learning tasks. A rubric has been constructed to measure students

level of achievement in understanding characterisation using descriptive language in creating a comic strip.
It considers students diverse needs in cognitive, physical and language and literacy development. For
example, students are not limited to one form of presentation. Instead, Students are given the option to
digitally or manually produce their work and are able to create characters, which they connect with.
Consideration for diversity is evident when a teacher has the goal of adaptive teaching is to instruct each
student upon his/her individual needs (Westwood, 2013). This enables opportunities for students to interact
with cross-curricular opportunities and build their general capabilities that connect to the real-world

Reporting is an essential part to providing information to parents and carers about their childrens learning.
Reporting provides accurate and objective judgement of the student's progress and achievement, which
includes an assessment of the student's achievement against ACARA standards, and includes, for subjects
studied, an assessment of the student's achievement (Council of Australian Governments, 2009). For
example, the rubric for the main task assesses students ability to create text types that feature descriptive
characters and settings. This aligns with the ACARA achievement standard to create detailed texts
elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. The rubric also measures students
understanding of grammar, and their vocabulary choices used to enhance cohesion and structure in their
writing (ACARA, 2016). The rubric also provides opportunity for additional feedback on students
achievement in the subject. In the unit of work, students are also required to complete reflective worksheets
in conjunction with each text they read. These are added to their scrapbook, which are sent home monthly
for parents to review and comment. The reflective work sheets assess students ability to compare and
analyse information in different and complex texts, explaining literal and implied meaning (Council of
Australian Governments, 2009). They select and use evidence from a text to explain their response to it.
The teacher is also required to observe and take notes on student performance that can be reviewed and
assessed to determine any necessary changes needed to achieve student learning outcomes and to help
individual students achieve their own individual learning goals. This includes incorporating ethical principles
when making judgements on students achievements. It requires attention to the purposes of assessment
and their working balance in the classroom, within schools and their communities, and across the system
(Brenan, 2005). Reporting is central to the learning relationship that teachers, students and parents need to
establish for achieving the full potential of student learning outcomes.
The unit of work has been constructed to provide rich and authentic learning experiences and teaching
practices, which align with the ACARA content descriptors. It also practices high-quality assessment
strategies using effective diagnostic, formative, and summative tasks such as effective feedback and
questioning that align with students learning outcomes and achievement standards. From this,
teachers are able to collect information that identifies student learning needs and implement
modifications to learning and teaching practices that enhance students learning towards their goals.

The unit of work uses effective assessment recording practices that incorporates ethical judgement,
connects with students diverse needs, and aligns with ACARA achievement standards. Aligning
assessment with teaching, learning, and ACARA content descriptors and achievement standards will
help provide a learning experience for students that enables them to become life-long learners.