2-3x 30-45 minute lessons

Students will plan for and play a part in one side of a debate to either advocate for or argue against Costello's way of fishing.


This lesson is part of a unit of work on the text Blueback. It assumes some previous study of the text has already been completed. View the full Unit here.

Students will revisit Student resource sheet: Exposition example in this lesson.

Students will each require a copy of Student worksheet: Exposition template.

Western Australian curriculum

English Language Text structure and organisation ACELA1531, ACELA1504
English Language Expressing and developing ideas ACELA1512
English Literature Literature and context ACELT1619
English Literature Responding to literature ACELT1621
English Literacy Interacting with others ACELY1710, ACELY1720
Science Science as a human endeavour Use and influence of science ACSHE100


  1. Introduce and explain the elements of a debate – one person/group will present an opinion and reasoning on a particular topic, followed by a response (opposition) on that same topic by the other person/group.
  2. Revisit Student resource sheet: Exposition example discussing that this represents one side of the debate.
  3. Split the class into an equal number of groups – half will advocate ‘for’ Costello’s way of fishing whilst the other half will be ‘against’ Costello’s way of fishing.
  4. Provide students with Student worksheet: Exposition template to assist in the planning of their side of the debate. Students should prepare notes in the format – opinion, reason, explanation of reason and restate opinion.
  5. Pair groups to debate against each other. Provide each group with a set time limit to present their argument either for or against. Students should actively listen to both sides of the debate to decide which group was more persuasive.
  6. Engage students in a class discussion about which groups wee more persuasive and why. Questions to consider –
    • What language/vocabulary did they use?
    • What reasoning made their argument more persuasive?
    • Did they provide any evidence to support their argument?


debate, persuasive, Costello, Blueback, presentation, exposition, argument, advocate, argue