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Picnic at Hanging Rock (Teacher Pack)

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SKU: TP0021
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Complete teaching unit, including assessment possibilities, for the iconic and atmospheric Australian film, Picnic at Hanging Rock, directed by Peter Weir and released in 1975.  The narrative feature film brings Joan Lindsay’s novel to life on screen, capturing audiences with the mystery of the disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher on Valentine’s Day, 1900, at Hanging Rock in Victoria.

This comprehensive Teacher Pack – Picnic at Hanging Rock equips educators of secondary English and/or Media Studies students (Years 10-12) with all that’s needed to deliver high-quality learning experiences which unpack the key messages of this important film, especially those relating to the interplay of the landscape and colonialism. 

Contents (5 digital/editable/printable files ready for immediate download and use):

  1. 1.     Teacher Guide (52-page PDF)                       
  • Unit overview      
  • Inquiry Question                                                                          
  • Suggested Lesson Outline                                                                        
  • Teacher Answer Guide to Student Booklet
  • Assessment possibilities
  1. 2.     Student Booklet (48-page PDF and DOCX)
  • Pre-viewing activities:
    • Australian identity, colonialism and the environment – in literature - novel extracts and short stories
    • Mysteries of the Australian landscape
    • Picnics in Literature
    • Picnic at Hanging Rock– historical context and geographical location
    • The mythologising of Hanging Rock
    • Picnic at Hanging Rock – origins, historical accuracy, influences on Joan Lindsay, Peter Weir
    • Viewing activities:
      • Narrative film conventions
      • Film terminology – a glossary
      • Active film viewing strategies
      • The Opening – initial viewing
      • Viewing table
    • Post-viewing activities:
      • Representations table
      • Symbolism
      • Close analysis: Garden Party scene/other scenes
      • Sample scene analysis tasks
      • Close analysis: Character – Miranda/other characters
      • Sample character analysis tasks
      • Practice writing body paragraphs
      • Essay template
    • Assessment possibilities
    • Analytical Essay Writing Checklist
  1. 3.     Teaching Presentation (42-slide PPTX and 23-slide KEY)
  • Australian identity, colonialism and the environment – in literature
  • Discussion – picnics
  • Preparing to view – narrative film conventions, active film viewing strategies
  • Representations in the film
  • Symbolism in the film
  • Analysing the film – close analysis of scenes, close analysis of character
  • Assessment possibilities

Unit duration: 24+ lessons (including assessment possibilities) 

Curriculum Links:

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

  • English
  • Media Studies 

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

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Literacy

The Teacher Pack also relates to the Cross-Curriculum Priority within the Australian Curriculum:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

The film runs for 1 hour 55 mins and has an official rating as PG.  Please check your country’s classification for this film prior to use with students.


  • Digital/editable/printable files delivered in a single zip file (3× PDF, 1× DOCX, 1× PPTX, 1× KEY)
  • 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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