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Blackfish (Teacher Pack)

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SKU: TP0019
Organisation *
  • How do documentaries educate viewers on an issue?
  • How do documentary film-makers use conventions of documentary film-making to communicate a perspective?
  • Why is it important to develop critical viewing skills?

This complete teaching unit, including persuasive speech assessment, focuses on the 2013 documentary, Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. The powerful change-inspiring film focuses on the story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale, trainer deaths and problems with the sea-park industry.

This comprehensive Teacher Pack – Blackfish equips educators of secondary school students with all that’s needed to deliver high-quality learning experiences related to critical viewing of a documentary film text on the issue of keeping animals in captivity. Students will learn through a range of individual, pair, group and whole-class speaking, viewing, and writing modes, culminating in a persuasive speech assessment task. 

Contents (digital/editable/printable files ready for immediate download and use): 

  1. Teacher Guide (25-page PDF)                     
    • Unit overview
    • Inquiry Questions
    • Suggested Lesson Outline                                                                     
    • Teacher Answer Guide to Student Booklet
    • Assessment Task: Persuasive Speech
  2. Student Booklet (22-page PDF and DOCX)
    • Pre-viewing activities
    • Viewing activities
    • Post-viewing activities                                 
    • Assessment Task: Persuasive Speech (including activities, samples, structure template, checklist)
  3. Teaching PowerPoint (20-slide PPTX and Key [for macOS users])
    • What is a documentary?
    • Discussion started activities
    • Pre-viewing, Viewing and Post-viewing resources (including links)
    • Persuasive Speech – assessment preparation resources

Unit duration: 18+ lessons (including assessment)

Curriculum Links:

The Teacher Pack can be linked to the following areas within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • English
  • Media Studies

In addition, the Teacher Pack relates directly to the following General Capabilities within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • Ethical Understanding
  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking

The film runs for 83 mins and has an official rating as M. Please check your country’s classification for this film prior to use with students.


  • Digital/editable/printable files delivered in a single zip file (2 x pdf, 1 x doc, 1 x pptx, 1 x keynote presentation)
  • Professionally designed by an experienced educator
  • Highly visual and engaging
  • Suited to all learners
  • Crisp, clean layouts
  • A range of whole class, group work and individual learning resources

Please note: Access to view the film is not included in the resource pack.

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