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NSW Syllabuses

Stage 4 - Activity 1

Imaginative Writing

Description of activity

Students view four one-minute film extracts. They choose one or more elements from the extracts and use them as the basis for the opening of a short story of approximately one to two pages. In their composition they are asked to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of short stories that they have developed in their study during the unit.  The film extracts are the first minutes from the following films:
The Sound of Music: aerial shots of snow-capped mountains and green valleys
A Day at the Races:  people, dialogue, trains/buses
My Brilliant Career:  rural setting, girl in house with her thoughts
The King and I:  mother and son on boat arriving in Bangkok


Students have been studying short stories and their conventions.  They have read and analysed a range of stories and have concentrated on descriptive writing in relation to situation and character.  The students were given a range of stimulus material including poems, pictures and sound effects.  After agreement on some of the qualities of a good short story student were asked to write an opening to a short story during class time based on some film extracts.


EN4-1A responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
EN4-3B uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts
EN4-4B makes effective language choices to creatively shape meaning with accuracy, clarity and coherence
EN4-5C thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information, ideas and arguments to respond to and compose texts

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)
Students will be assessed on their:

  • choices made about language forms and features, and content appropriate for:
    • audience
    • narrator
    • context
    • the conventions and structures of the short story
    • intended mood or tone
    • purpose, eg to amuse or to explore issues
  • planning, composing and editing of accurate, clear and coherent texts by applying knowledge of the conventions of  a short story in:
    • the structure of the opening
    • the characterisation of the narrator
    • the momentum of the story
  • response to visual and spoken text in imaginatively or interpretively relating the story to the film extracts by:
    • using information from the film in the short story opening
    • showing how information can be used to different effect in different texts.

Graded student work samples - End Stage

Grade AGrade B
Grade CGrade D
No samples