ABC OPEN – an excellent resource for related material in HSC English

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Real stories made by real people from all around Australia

Offering diverse perspectives and examples of storytelling, ABC OPEN celebrates what it means to be Australian. Dive right in – search or browse through different projects and learn how to make and upload your own story – these multimodal texts are sure to provide exciting classroom possibilities.

Recently, while presenting a seminar on Elissa Down’s The Black Balloon for HSC Standard English Module C: Texts and Society Elective 1 – Exploring Interactions, I suggested Kate Mead’s story as related material. Maggie Mollison, the mother of autistic Charlie in The Black Balloon, typifies a positive, loving and supportive mum although her patience may at times seem a little too unrealistic. In comparison, Mead shares her feelings of self doubt after her son was diagnosed with autism.

Will I be enough? was written by Mead to comply with the project category ‘500 Words: My Secret Fear’ and published in December 2014. This compelling and honest narrative includes several language features which are readily identified from the transcript:

  • first person perspective
  • truncated sentences (fragments)
  • dialogue
  • rhetorical questions
  • hyperbole

These help us understand this mother’s reality. Students may also enjoy hearing the audio slideshow, with music, titled Your son has Autism.  This text could also be used as a listening task.

By also reading the comments uploaded in response to these texts, students will further develop their understanding of the transformative power of communicating ideas and sharing experiences. This is an important aspect of the module rubric.

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