This page updated on 18 November, 2009
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Supplementary Materials and Resources for Podcast 29 - Focus Class


mySF Project: Focus learning episode for Kelleher's Taronga


This page supports Podcast 29 of the mySF Project blog and podcast series, found at
You can find the full script for Podcast 29 at

This page was used in its large text font as seen here as the cues for Michael in the first Focus Class,
part of the Quality Teacher project. More details on this project and the process are available
on this link. The page was displayed on the IWB at the front of the class and the points with links
seen below were used to aid the memory of the teacher for the planned exercise.



Agenda for the class:

Recap last class and introduce the focus class

Give out video focus sheet and note outcomes

Run the digital videos in order

Discuss the results with class

Focus on themes and purposes

Inspiration to record student priorities for the sub-genre

Inspiration file from the class

Feedback on the activity from the class

Background to the focus class



Recap of last class:

Quotes and definitions - the future world: a warrior wasteland?

The 'not so cosy catastrophe' of 'Not with a Bang' by Damon Knight


Video focus sheet

Five film trailers, five columns - need a pen and concentration
Describe the task

Name in the top right

This is for assessment in participation, and for planning
Sheets collected at the end


Post-Apocalyptic film trailers shown

last_man.avi Poster image for 'The Last Man on Earth'
omega_man.avi Poster from film 'The Omega Man'
world_flesh_devil.avi Poster image for 'The World, the Flesh and the Devil'
quiet_earth.avi Poster image for 'The Quiet Earth'
legend.avi Poster image for 'I am Legend'


Discussion of the results

Results from around the room

Where was there disagreement?

What was the hardest to fill out?
Look at what the survivors learnt about themselves, their worlds



Focus on themes and purposes

Look at the themes collected in the exercise

Five minutes to discuss the themes to make a statement about them

Write a summative paragraph on the back of the sheet: 
Themes and purposes of Post-Apocalyptic fiction  
What are the writers and directors teaching their audiences?


Inspiration to record student findings 

Fire up Inspiration with student in control

What is the most important purpose of Post-Apocalyptic fiction?

How do you rank the purposes
Save to myclasses portal



Inspiration file from the completed Focus Class


The saved file from the Focus Class (for more information please click here) is available on this site. Please click this link to look at the saved Inspiration Concept Map as a result of the points and processes, above.




Feedback on the activity from the class

Responses put up on VLE using Inspiration

Next class - Bailey's 'The end of the world as we know it'
What does Bailey's story say about the sub-genre?


Background to the focus class

The focus class here is a set of instructions for one, special class as part of a study of Kelleher's Taronga (1986) and the sub-genre of Post-Apocalyptic fiction. Much more can be read about this page, the 'focus' of this resource website, in the Teacher's Background to the study.


The focus class is a QTM project, based on the introduction of the Quality Teaching model to schools in the region. The focus class follows several weeks of work, as described in the Teacher's Guide to the study. The outcomes for the focus class relate to 'Intellectual Quality', specifically 'Deep Knowledge' and 'Deep Understanding' (NSWDET, 2006a: 16).


'Deep knowledge' must focus on a number of key concepts within topics, requiring clear articulation of the relationships between and among concepts. Further, the task should require "sustained focus on key concepts and ideas" (NSWDET, 2006a: 16).


'Deep understanding' requires students to demonstrate deep rather than superficial understanding of their learning and "requires students to provide information, arguments or reasoning that demonstrate deep understanding" (NSWDET, 2006a: 18).


Suggested classroom practice could include the mapping of outcomes and content so that the lesson focuses on illustrating significant concepts while addressing manageable amounts of content, with "select specialised resources including the Internet and multimedia (NSWDET, 2006: 17).


Suggestions for deep understanding include a "range of opportunities within the lesson for students to demonstrate deep understanding, eg problem solving in a group, [and] developing or answering probing questions" (NSWDET, 2006: 19).


As seen in the background section, the writer's personal pedagogies follow modified Constructivist models based in the Jonassen CLE model, looking to offer complex and ill-defined problems to students as part of problem-solving (Ilomaki et al, 2003 & McLoughlin and Luca, 2001).


Resource list

Ilomäki, L. (Ed.), Jaakkola, T., Lakkala, M., Nirhamo, L., Nurmi, S., Paavola, S., Rahikainen [Veermans], M. & Lehtinen, E. (2003). Principles, models and examples for designing learning objects (LOs) Pedagogical guidelines in CELEBRATE. A working paper for EU-funded CELEBRATE-project, delivered May 2003. Retrieved 7 May, 2005 from

Jonassen, D. (1998) 'Designing Constructivist Learning Environments'. In C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.) Instructional theories and models. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [online] Available

Kelleher, V. (1986). Taronga.  Scoresby, Victoria: Penguin Group Australia. Paperback 9780140326314

NSWDET (2006). A classroom practice guide: Quality teaching in ACT Schools. Copyright NSW Department of Education and Training. Canberra: Publishing Services for the ACT Department of Education and Training.

NSWDET (2006a). An assessment practice guide: Quality teaching in ACT Schools. Copyright NSW Department of Education and Training. Canberra: Publishing Services for the ACT Department of Education and Training.



Michael Sisley


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.
Link to the 'Taronga' focus class menu
Image of warbots for final destruction of Terra
Image of Post-Apocalyptic Earth