NESA is regularly updating its advice as the coronavirus outbreak unfolds. Get our latest COVID-19 advice

This webpage has been archived to prepare for transfer to the new NESA website. Reference to syllabus outcomes and content on this webpage may not be current. Teachers are encouraged to visit the Key Learning Area page for recent student work samples on the NESA website.

Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Years 7-8
  2. English
  3. Activities
  4. Individual reading, viewing and writing - opening to a short story
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Individual reading, viewing and writing - opening to a short story

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 4 (end of Year 8)
Grade A Taylor   Alex  
Grade B Terry  
Grade C Ricky   Kerry   Indra  

Description of activity

The class will view four one-minute film extracts. You will 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 your composition you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of short stories that you have developed in your study during this 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 students were asked to write an opening to a short story during class time based on some film extracts.


A student:
1 responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis and pleasure
4 uses and describes language forms and features, and structures of texts appropriate to different purposes, audiences and contexts
5 makes informed language choices to shape meaning with accuracy, clarity and coherence
6 draws on experience, information and ideas to imaginatively and interpretively respond to and compose texts
8 makes connections between and among 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.
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size