Introductory activities

Class discussion about the look of the book:

  • What do students think this book will be about judging by the title?
  • Judging only by the title and the author’s name, which genre do students think this book will fit into?
  • What do students think of the cover picture? Suggest some interpretations.
  • What do these names, Zac and Mia, mean? Ask students to look up the meaning of both these names and to keep those meanings in mind as they read the book. Students can look up their own names – if they haven’t already.
  • Students to read the blurb, ‘The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t – couldn’t – be friends with her.’ Students are to make a list of things that would prevent them being friends with someone, and another list of things that would attract them to someone.
  • Students to write down their own definition of the term friendship and then write a paragraph on the importance of friendship. Share and discuss in groups or with class.


Personal response on reading the text

While reading the text as homework, students are asked to keep a reading journal in which they:

  • List the themes as they arise during their reading. Students need to be able to share this list at the completion of the reading, and be prepared to enter into class or group discussion about how the author has raised and dealt with each issue. For example, the topic of science and statistics is raised many times. Zac uses statistics as a sort of talisman to keep alive his chances of survival.
  • Reflect on the character that they most identify with, and state why. It may be that boys identify most with Zac, and girls with Mia, but they need to reflect on the character traits they most admire or wish to emulate.
  • Comment on the alternating point of view that A. J. Betts uses to tell this story. The first person narrator is used to tell the stories of both Mia and Zac and they are given almost equal space. Ask students to think about the advantages of using such a system. How else could this story have been told?
  • Students to make a note about any part of the text that strikes them as being particularly Australian:  this could be a stereotypical Australian pastime, a description of a scene or character or the use of Australian vernacular.
  • Encourage students to make a list of questions as they are reading. These questions could be about plot, themes, character, setting, the author, vocabulary . . . anything. These could be addressed in class during the reading, individually by the teacher on the class blog or discussed once everyone has finished reading.

Written response:

Cancer is a common type of illness. Ask the students to reflect on a time when cancer (or some other significant illness or injury) has affected their own family. Students are to write a short memoir about this event. They may choose to write this using first or third person narration, whether or not the incident was personal. This could be shared in the class blog or written privately. Students need to keep this writing as they can choose to develop it in the final assessment stage.
(ACELA1564)   (ACELT1814)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-1A)


Outline of key elements of the text


This novel is character driven, meaning that it is mainly the characters who make this story so interesting. As regards action, not a great deal happens. Zac and Mia meet in hospital as cancer patients undergoing treatment. Upon discharge from hospital they both go to their respective homes and have a variety of experiences, then they meet again on Zac’s family farm in south-west Australia. There are definitely stand-out scenes such as chapter 10 (pp. 97–99) or the part where Zac sees Mia’s amputated leg and realises what it is she has been hiding (p. 200), but on the whole, it is in their interactions, both with each other and with other people, that make this a memorable read.


All the characters in this novel are important. Zac and Mia are central but their supporting cast of characters all shine in their own way.

  • Zac Meier: teenage boy from rural south-west Australia
  • Mia Phillips: teenage girl from Perth
  • Zac’s mother: Mrs Meier
  • Bec: Zac’s sister
  • Zac’s father
  • Evan: Zac’s brother
  • Mia’s mother
  • Nina: nurse at the hospital
  • Cam: another cancer patient in the hospital
  • Rhys: initially Mia’s boyfriend
  • Shay: Mia’s school friend
  • Patrick: psychiatrist at the hospital
  • Trish: Zac’s aunt in Perth


  • friendship
  • love
  • death
  • illness
  • courage
  • compassion
  • isolation
  • empathy
  • luck
  • hope
  • loss
  • boredom
  • family relationships
  • pain
  • popularity
  • trust

Class activity/discussion:

Students are to place one of the above themes in the middle of their screen or notebook (or the teacher could place it in the middle of the whiteboard). Students are then to create a conceptual diagram around this concept/theme, linking together the characters and their interactions which exemplify the particular theme. For example, ‘luck’. Lead questions/class discussion could revolve around the following points:

  • Who has luck?
  • Who doesn’t?
  • Is luck relative? Discuss.
  • Does Zac feel lucky? Why?
  • Does Mia feel lucky?
  • Who really runs out of luck?

Two more themes could be chosen individually with students creating their own conceptual framework with character interactions. This could be done as a class or homework activity with students sharing their findings within a group or with the class.


Synthesising tasks

Activity 1

Scenario: Your school librarian takes a lively interest in what books are being read around the school. He/she likes to advertise the new releases in the library by providing a short (one or two paragraph) review of all new books as they arrive, with the review done preferably by one of the students. Your librarian has asked you to write this review which will be placed on the online library site.
(ACELT1815)   (ACELT1814)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-1A)

Activity 2

Scenario: You have heard that an Australian film maker has bought the rights to turn this book into a film. As a movie fanatic and avid reader of young adult fiction, write to this film maker and suggest actors who you think might take on the role of either Zac or Mia. You need to make a strong case for your choices, stating why and how your suggested actor would fit these fictional characters.
(ACELT1639)   (ACELT1641)   (ACELT1644)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-6C)   (EN5-1A)

The writer’s craft including such elements as:


This text is arranged into three distinct sections: Part One – “Zac”;  Part Two – “And”;  Part Three – “Mia”.

Part One is only told from Zac’s point of view and has ten chapters. Part Two (“And”) is told from alternating points of view, Zac and Mia taking turns, and Part Three is only told from Mia’s point of view and also has ten chapters. Zac gets to tell the Epilogue from his point of view, giving him one more chapter overall, and the advantage of starting and finishing the book.

Writing exercise

Students could experiment with this device by writing a short section about an aspect of their recent life, perhaps an incident at school or an event such as a Sports Day, or perhaps just a description of the English class they are currently in. Ask them to write from the first person, as themselves. Then ask them to change perspective entirely and write about exactly the same time span/incident, but from a completely different point of view, preferably that of the opposite gender. They must also use the first person for this account and try to be as immediate and direct as in their first piece of writing.
(ACELT1814)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELA1564)   (ACELY1752)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)

Point of view

By switching the first person narrative voice between the two central protagonists, A. J. Betts enables the reader to view Mia through Zac’s eyes and vice versa. For example, on page 25 we get Zac’s first impression of Mia’s looks, and on page 135 we get Mia’s first proper look at Zac. This device of alternating first person narrator also enables the reader to have access to their innermost thoughts, emotions, attitudes, beliefs and values. We learn that Zac and Mia have very different philosophies when it comes to understanding death.

  • Students to re-read pp. 222–223. In a think-pair-share activity, ask them to try and explain both philosophies to a colleague and to identify the philosophy they most agree with, and to explain why.


The structure used for presenting both points of view equally is also a useful vehicle for dealing with the main settings in the novel.

Part One is set entirely in the hospital.

  • Students to list the various settings in Part Two and Part Three.

The story begins and ends with Zac speaking from within the hospital. Most of the action between these hospital ‘book ends’ takes place either in the hospital or on Zac’s family farm, but the city (Perth) is also an important part of the overall setting.

  • Ask students to create a Venn Diagram with advantages of city living in one circle and advantages of country living in the other. In the overlapping part they could list any alternative ways of living that could be possible, for example living in regional towns, or constant travelling by boat or camper van.

Student activity:

Students could design a web page, a poster or a brochure advertising either:

  • The Good Olive: Olive Oil and Petting Farm
  • The Oncology Unit in the hospital as a modern and caring place for young people with cancer – check CanTeen for ideas.

(ACELT1644)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-6C)   (EN5-1A)

This novel has been published in Germany, the UK, US, Canada, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Latin America. It is soon to be published in Brazil, Italy and the USSR. Yet it is a quintessential Australian novel with an unmistakable Australian setting.

  • If one was to read this without knowing where it was set, what (apart from names like Perth or Western Australia) would make its Australian setting unmistakable? List five typical Australian setting, character, incident or slang descriptions.
  • Given that it is so Australian, list five things about this book that transcend nationality?


The author reveals a great deal about her characters by SHOWING instead of TELLING. In other words, we can tell a lot about the person by the things she/he does, says and thinks.

Mia is a complex character who develops considerably during the course of the story.

  • Students are to re-read pages 88–91, beginning: But Mia says nothing,’ to ‘I don’t have the strength for both of us’. And then pages 107–110, beginning: ‘It’s dark. Thank god’, to ‘It’s so dark I can’t even see myself’. Ask students to write a list of adjectives and short sentences to describe Mia from the way she interacts with Zac and Rhys.
  • Mia goes on journeys both physically and mentally. Students have already charted her physical journeys (in Settings section). Below is a table listing some of the mental/psychological changes she goes through. Students are to fill in the boxes supplying the emotion, the context or the textual evidence.
Emotion   Context Evidence or quote from text                
Anger 1) Facebook interchange with Zac in hospital

2) Exchange in parked car with Rhys

3) —————————————-

1) p. 90 ‘DON’T FU

2) p. 109 ‘Screw you . . .

3) p. 200 ?

Humiliation 1) Rejected by Rhys

2) Overhears school friends whispering

3) —————————————

1) p?

2) p?

3) p. 199 ‘I’m nothing.’


Deceit 1) Stealing from her mother and Shay’s mother

2) Lying ———————————


1) p?

2) p. 121 and ? (there are several examples)



1)  At the sleep-over movie marathon

2) ————————————

3) ————————————-

1) p. 122 ‘She used to envy me, once.’

2) p. 246 ‘I liked the looks I got from men outside cafes.’

3) p. 199 ‘My whole life, I’ve only ever been the pretty one – it’s all I needed to be.’

Growing awareness and maturity 1) Becomes aware of shallowness of girls at end of term movie marathon

2) ——————————————-

1) p. 123 ‘They are the fish I realise.’

2) p. 252 ‘Zac, I’m sorry I ignored u.’



1) Sends Zac a note to thank him for the tree

2) ——————————————-



1) p. ?

2) p. 283 ‘I didn’t know she was saying she loved me. Tell me again.’

Strength and courage  


  • What important lesson does Trish teach Mia?

Zac is in some ways the central character in the novel. It is his voice we hear at the beginning and the end, yet his journey through sickness, health and sickness again is not as tumultuous and stormy as Mia’s.

  • Why is this so? Think-pair-share. Class discussion.
  • Why does Mia refer to Zac as Helga?
  • Again the author shows rather than tells us about Zac’s character. What do the following incidents tell us about Zac?
    • Trophy award night.
    • Zac’s knowledge of statistics and science.
    • His decision to build a cot for his sister’s forthcoming baby.

Zac and Mia communicate through a variety of modes including wall tapping, note sending, texting and Facebook. How important is social media in the on-going relationship between Zac and Mia? In pairs discuss the importance of Facebook in their evolving relationship. Why, for example, does Mia pretend her leg is the result of a netball injury? And why does Zac have 679 Facebook ‘friends’, many of whom he has never met (p. 55)? In general, how are friendships formed, consolidated and ruined by Facebook? Students might – or might not – like to share experiences.

In Kids Book review, A. J. Betts states, ‘I knew that Mia would be opposite to Zac in many ways but, surprisingly, they’d come to complement each other’. What does this mean?

  • Students to fill in the chart below and then write a page reflecting on how these two protagonists are opposite but complementary.
Zac                                                      Mia 
Approach to illness




Attitude to life




Family life




Supporting characters

All the characters in Zac and Mia seem to be fully alive and realistic. They all have a role to play in the story yet they are all people in their own right.


  • A background, yet pivotal character. How and why? How does the ladybird hair clip (p. 4) reveal so much about her?


  • What role does he play in Zac’s life?

Zac’s mother and Mia’s mother:

  • Students to do a quick comparison chart between their different personalities and styles of mothering.

Rhys and Shay:

  • Both play marginal yet important roles in the novel. Students to choose one and describe how they act as a foil to either Zac or Mia.


  • How does Bec add humour to the story?

Animal characters:

  • What role do the animals play in this novel?

Class activity

Students to watch one or two episodes of ABC’s Australian Story. These two: “Seriously Funny” about comedian Corey White and “Grand Designs” about designer, Collette Dinnigan are good examples. It is probably not necessary to watch entire episodes – segments would suffice. They need to see how the people being featured look back over their lives, relationships and seminal events. Ask them to imagine that they are either Zac or Mia in ten to twenty years time and they are now famous enough to be reminiscing publicly about the period in their lives when, as teenagers, they were seriously ill and met each other. Students to prepare a five to seven minute snippet to cover this period, and write the script. This could be presented in audio or video  form.
(ACELT1639)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELT1644)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1750)   (ACELY1813)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-6C)   (EN5-1A)

Language and style

There is rich use of poetic language, symbolism and metaphor in Zac and Mia.


In Kids’ Book Review Blog Tour, A. J. Betts talks about how she was playing with the ideas of love and isolation and these two themes came together with the image of the wall with a hand on either side.

  • What is the wall symbolising in this idea that the author had?
  • On page 250, Mia receives an unexpected gift from Zac: an olive tree. What is the symbolism of this tree?
  • An image of glow-in-the-dark stars attached to walls appears periodically in this novel: (pp. 232, 247 and 253). What could these stars be symbolising?


Metaphors are powerful ways of bringing images to life within writing. Consider the metaphors used to describe cancer in this text:

Cancer is described as a dog, p. 270 (‘My own cancer was a dog at my ankle’) and as some sort of emergency vehicle, p. 207 (‘With the destruction it brings, cancer should come howling into a body with sirens wailing and lights flashing’).

  • Students read the contexts surrounding the metaphors:

– Meerkat (‘Beside me, Mum is all meerkat’ p. 8)
– Fish (‘Am I the fish or are they?’ p. 123)
– Birds (‘But giant wings beat at my heart and I know’ p. 267)

  • Ask students to choose two from the above list (or another of their choice from the novel) and explain to a partner, group or the class how this metaphor works.
  • Ask students to think up original metaphors/similes for human conditions such as sadness, joy, illness, surprise, etc.

Poetic language

Read the following passages out loud to the students.

People and birds turn to silhouettes. The sky is changing, throbbing with dusk. I know these colours well. Puckered pinks and flaming reds, hot and soft to touch. Scarlet smearing the horizon. A symphony of infection and pain. Then slowly, heavily, a violet descends like a giant bruise until it’s all the same. There’s a peace that comes with the dark. I exhale with relief. Without the rage of day, there’s nothing left to feel. (p. 214)

Two images come together like strangers in a doorway . . . They jostle, apologise and sidestep, but still . . . something happens. (p. 266)

Light floats as in specks, looking for skin to land on. (p. 188)

As a class discussion, unpack the devices used to create this extremely evocative imagery: adjectives, personification, metaphor, lack of traditional sentence structure (as in ‘A symphony of infection and pain’), alliteration, assonance etc.

Individual writing activity

  • Creative Writing. Present students with several large pictures or posters. These could be anything as long as they are striking. For example, obviously ill people, or people with an amputation could be used. But it could be anything: a baby, a sunset, a view, a beautiful young face, an old face, a war scene, etc. Ask the students to write as quickly, vividly and poetically as possible about this image without worrying at all about editing, spelling or grammar.
  • Homework: refine this writing, perhaps turning it into an evocative piece of prose, perhaps turning it into a poem or stream of consciousness writing. Sharing with the class would be optional.

(ACELT1643)   (ACELA1570)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-1A)

Exploration of themes

Three questions were important to A. J. Betts as she wrote this novel (Kids book review). These were:

  • What is courage?
  • What is beauty?
  • What is love?

Courage is defined thus: “Courage is standing still even though you want to run. Courage is planting yourself and turning towards the thing that scares you . . . It’s opening your eyes and staring that fear down.” (p. 300) And on page 252, Mia, in describing her reconciliatory message to Zac, states, ‘I press send and it’s gone. Courage and stupidity combined.’

Beauty: Mia did not feel she was beautiful after losing her hair and having part of her leg amputated.

  • What sort of beauty is the author suggesting when she asks ‘What is beauty?’?

Love: There are many different types of love in this novel.

  • Students are to make a concept map or web that shows how love links the various characters.

Isolation and how people deal with isolation is one important theme which is tackled by both Zac and Mia. Zac faces physical isolation when he is confined in a hospital room in order to prevent infection. But Mia faces a different sort of isolation once she is out of hospital.

  •  Describe how Mia experiences and confronts the sort of isolation that she faces.

There are many other important themes in the book. Students have already listed some of them during their initial reading. Now that they have undertaken more detailed study, students to choose the ONE theme which they regard as the most important to the text and to them. They need to be able to explain why they think this is the most important. It could be one of those mentioned above but examined in greater detail, or a different one.

Use of parallels and contrasts

Class discussion

Consider the device of alternating Zac and Mia’s narration.

  • What does this do for the overall story as it unfolds?
  • Apart from the contrast/balance of boy/girl, what other contrasts and balances can students pick out?
  • Zac’s family life and Mia’s family life run side by side. What sort of contrast does this produce?


Synthesising task/activity

As a class (in groups, pairs or individually) students are to write a lengthy email to A. J. Betts telling her about the effect this novel has had on them as an individual reading it at home and as a student studying it in class. Students need to refer to their overall reaction as well as specifics such as themes, characterisation and writerly style. Students could also make suggestions about turning the novel into a film or writing a sequel, or raise any other issue which they deem important.
(ACELT1814)   (ACELT1815)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)

Ways of reading the text

Gender reading

A gendered reading considers the way in which characters confirm to or subvert the traditional gender stereotypes of the society depicted – in this case, Australian society.

  • Students are to create two concept maps: one has ‘Australian Teenage Boy’ at its centre, and the other, ‘Australian Teenage Girl’. Brainstorm in pairs or groups every aspect of typical stereotype labels such as footy and surfing for boys and popularity and appearance for girls. They then need to shade in all the boxes that Zac and Mia fit.
  • Are Zac and Mia typical Australian teenagers?

Class discussion on the nature of stereotypes and how difficult it is to escape them because of societal pressure and expectations.

Examples of easily recognised stereotypes could include: rugby players, different nationality types such as American or German (or Australian), rock singers, computer ‘nerds’, etc. Ask students to list the traits associated with each of these types.

  • What purpose do stereotypes fulfill?
  • Do all societies have similar stereotypes?
  • How are the norms of being a typical boy/girl teenager promoted within Australia?
  • How easy/difficult is it to resist popular culture gender stereotyping?
  • What role do: television, social media, advertising and school have in promoting gender stereotypes?

Class activity in gender stereotyping 

Read the article Media Influence on Teenagers as a class.

  • Whose point of view is being put forward in this article?
  • Would students agree with this point of view? Why/why not?

On page 199, Mia reflects, ‘Without my looks, what’s left? I’m not smart, or kind, or talented, or creative, or funny, or brave. I’m nothing.’

  • Watch a YouTube clip of Mean Girls. Mean Girls Meeting the Plastics is a useful one but probably most would work. Follow this with a class discussion (or group discussion) based on the following questions or leads, and discussing primarily Zac and Mia, although it would be useful to use other examples as well – perhaps personal ones.
    • Popularity is the primary avenue of power available for girls.
    • Girls use meanness to obtain power and position within a group.
    • All girls are subject to constant scrutiny of their femininity.
    • Are boys subject to as much pressure to conform as girls are?
    • What sort of pressures are exerted on boys in high school?
    • Does this intense peer pressure last beyond youth and school years for both genders?

Class activity

Procedural writing. After considering the above texts and questions, students can create booklets: Girls’ Guide: How to Survive High School or Boys’ Guide: How to Survive High School. This does not have to be gender specific and could be aimed at an audience of primary children about to enter high school or at parents.
(ACELT1815)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1750)   (ACELY1752)   (ACELY1756)   (ACELY1757)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-1A)   (EN5-2A)

Different perspectives/theoretical approaches 

“Teen Sick Lit”

Teen Sick Lit is literature which features sick children and is written for children or young teens. There is some controversy surrounding this genre.

  • Students read the article which appeared in the UK Daily Mail in which the author describes the literature as ‘disturbing’. After reading the article and working in pairs or groups, students write down six bullet points defending Zac and Mia against the charges leveled at sick lit in general.

Points to consider:

    • What big issues does Zac and Mia raise?
    • How does it resolve them?
    • Read the last sentence of the book. “And I am the luckiest”. Comments?

Zac and Mia won the 2014 Crystal Kite Award and in her interview, A. J. Betts states, ‘This story came together from three things: interest in how isolation affects a person, admiration for teenagers who confront illness and mortality and a request to write a love story.’ How well has she succeeded in addressing these three things?

(ACELA1565)   (ACELA1568)   (ACELT1640)   (EN5-7D)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-5C)


Comparison with other texts

Other texts classified as Teen Sick Lit include:

In another mode, but within the same genre, the recent film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl deals with many of the same issues.

Students should watch the movie (trailer here) and then fill in the following chart:

Zac and Mia                        Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 



Central characters









Personal response to text




Class discussion

Discuss with students which had the more profound effect on them – reading Zac and Mia or watching the film, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – and why?

  • Would the impact of Zac and Mia be greater if it were turned into a film, or lesser?
  • Are there parts of Zac and Mia which would be impossible to turn into film? Why?
  • Discuss the different endings. Which was the more effective and why?
  • Survey: How many of the class are habitual readers? How many are much more likely to see a film than read a book? What do students think is the future of traditional books?

(ACELT1639)   (ACELT1640)   (ACELT1641)   (ACELT1812)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-7D)


Synthesising task

Zac and Mia ends on a note of hope and optimism despite the odds that Zac is facing. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl ends with the protagonist dying of cancer. Mia says of Zac (p. 304) ‘He’s tired of me – tired of everything . . .’ All of them thought at this stage that it could be the end for Zac.

Imagine that the Epilogue was written by Mia, and not Zac, because Zac has already died. Working alone or with a partner, prepare the funeral service for Zac. This is to be presented as a celebration of Zac’s life and could include the sort of music he would have liked, a brief eulogy (where several members of his family could speak, and of course, Mia), a film show presenting highlights of his life – and anything else deemed relevant – bearing in mind Zac’s attitudes to life and death.
(ACELA1567)   (ACELT1641)   (ACELT1815) (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1750)   (ACELY1813)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-1A)

Rich assessment tasks:

A selection of both receptive and productive mode rich tasks has been provided. Teachers may choose to suit their own class contexts and situations.

Response to text (Receptive mode)

1. Feature article:

‘Teen Sick Lit’ is attracting a great deal of controversy. Speaking as an authority, having just studied Zac and Mia and watched the movie, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, students are to write a feature article where they refer to the on-going debate about the pros and cons of such literature. Their main point of reference should be Zac and Mia, but they may bring in subsidiary texts to back their arguments.

Context: publication in an appropriate teen magazine or online forum.
(ACELA1568)   (ACELT1640)   (ACELT1812)   (ACELT1814) (ACELT1815)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1752)   (ACELY1754)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-7D)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-1A)

2. Submission letter:

Write a submission to a film maker who lives in a country other than Australia, outlining your ideas for turning Zac and Mia into a film. In this submission you will need to refer to the fact that this is an Australian text and that an Australian setting is important. You could also suggest actors to play the parts of Zac and Mia and indicate why you think they would fit the role. Obviously themes and the importance of this text would also need emphasising.
(ACELT1814)  (ACELT1815)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-1A)

3. Book review:

Zac and Mia has won three prestigious literary awards, has been shortlisted for three more (including in Germany and Holland), has been published in ten countries and translated into eight languages other than English. Students are to write a book review suitable for young readers in which they do not try and ‘sell’ the book, but set up a serious debate about its merits and the importance of such a book for young audiences in today’s world.

Context: local newspaper, teenage magazine, teenage online literary forum.
(ACELT1814)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELY1752)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-1A)

Response to text (Productive mode)

1. Creation of new cover and justifying essay:

Design a different cover for Zac and Mia and then write a new one-hundred-word blurb to go with the new cover. Students are then to write a short essay where they justify their choice and design of the cover. They will need to discuss their use of layout, colours and signifiers.
(ACELT1641)   (ACELT1644)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELA1572)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1756)  (EN5-3B)   (EN5-6C)  (EN5-8D)

2. Blog:

Although this novel is primarily about Zac and Mia, minor characters are vividly depicted and add resonance and depth to the story. Students to choose one of them, for example, Nina, Cam, Bec, Rhys or one of the mothers, and write a diary blog covering a section of the story’s action – from their point of view, in first person. This person will be viewing Zac and Mia (and all the other characters) objectively and might have a very different version of events.
(ACELT1815)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1752)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-6C)  (EN5-8D)

3. Short story writing:

Write two short stories about the same event but from different character perspectives. This could be in the form of a recounting or short memoir and thus it would automatically be from the first person point of view. The second account of the same memory or incident could be from a close bystander, for example a member of the family, or a close friend. This second short story (about the same event) also needs to be narrated from the first person point of view (as in Zac and Mia). Alternatively the stories could be completely fictional; however, in both stories, a first person narrator is required. Students could build on their writing from the Initial Response section of this unit for this.
(ACELT1814)   (ACELT1815)   (ACELY1749)   (ACELY1756)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-6C)  (EN5-8D)