Visual Text Analysis - Extraordinary Indigenous Australian women

Year 9/10

Suggested duration: Two lessons


In this lesson students will be looking closely at a series of posters developed by AIATSIS for International Women’s Day. Students will revise the key language features common to visual texts and explore the ways in which visual features can be used and combined to communicate powerfully to the target audience.

Contributions by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women both past and present have helped shaped our nation. Some examples of extraordinary Australian Indigenous women include: writer, Anita Heiss; singer and actor, Jessica Mauboy; political leader and activist, Faith Bandler; and poet/activist/writer/educator, Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Indigenous women around the globe continue to empower women and girls through leadership, advocacy, strength and courage. Whether it’s women in their own local communities and regions or on the international stage, women continue to strive to make a difference to the lives of children and families..

Learning outcome

1. Students will be able to analyse, interpret and explain how different language features can be used in visual texts to communicate meaning.

General capabilities Cross-curriculum priorities
Literacy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Critical and creative thinking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures organising ideas: 8, 9
Intercultural understanding  

Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Year 9 English

  • Analyse and explain the use of symbols, icons and myth in still and moving images and how these augment meaning (ACELA1560).
  • Investigate and experiment with the use and effect of extended metaphor, metonymy, allegory, icons, myths and symbolism in texts, for example poetry, short films, graphic novels, and plays on similar themes (ACELT1637).
  • Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739).
  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate how different perspectives of issue, event, situation, individuals or groups are constructed to serve specific purposes in texts (ACELY1742).

Year 10 English

  • Analyse and explain how text structures, language features and visual features of texts and the context in which texts are experienced may influence audience response (ACELT1641).
  • Analyse and evaluate text structures and language features of literary texts and make relevant thematic and intertextual connections with other texts (ACELT1774).
  • Analyse and evaluate how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural and/or visual choices (ACELY1749).
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754).

Provisions for differentiation

Learning support

Students with learning difficulties may need more time to complete their analysis.


Students could apply their knowledge of the features of visual texts to design a promotional poster of their own that communicates a social issue. Ask them to sketch a layout and describe its main design features.


Internet access and a projector or other device for screening a selection of images (optional)

Suggested online resource

For teachers

Ensure that the guidance notes included in The Little Red Yellow Black Book teacher resource have been considered.


  • Identity

Preparation: If you have access to the internet and a projector or other screen, prepare to display the poster series. You can find the International Women’s Day posters on the AIATSIS website:

Step 1.

Display each poster at its maximum size and resolution onscreen. Alternatively, students can see the images on the Activity worksheet.

Step 2.

Distribute the Activity worksheet and the Student resource sheet for students to refer to and briefly discuss and provide examples. Direct students to answer the questions. Assign about 15 minutes for this task.

Step 3.

Ask students to join in a discussion of their answers as a class. Guide the discussion so that the points included in the Student resource sheet are brought out about the posters.

Assessment ideas

  • Participation in discussion
  • Worksheet answers
Last reviewed: 11 Nov 2019