1. Years 9-10
  2. English
  3. Activities
  4. Letters to the Editor - Food
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Letters to the Editor - Food

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 5 (end of Year 10)
Grade A Ariel   Morgan  
Grade B Kerry   Cam   Kim  
Grade C Robyn  
Grade D Indra   Jordan   Sam   Taylor  

Description of activity

Students will write two letters to the editor of a newspaper giving opposing points of view on the issue of genetically modified food. Each letter should be at least 20 lines in length and will be written in class. Students will be able to use a transcript of the Dimensions program (ABC TV) to assist them in their response.


Students have been engaged in a study of the newspaper medium: newspaper articles, editorials, letters to the editor and advertising. They have explored the language of persuasion, its conventions and techniques. They have specifically learned about the conventions of writing letters to the editor. They have discussed topical issues and been involved in debates and journal writing.

Students have viewed a program from Dimensions (ABC TV) that investigates genetically modified food. They have been given a transcript of the program to annotate. Students have considered a range of advertisements and packaging for food products that include the 'GMO Free' label, and have researched the issue on the internet.


A student:

4. selects and uses language forms and features, and structures of texts according to different purposes, audiences and contexts, and describes and explains their effect on meaning
5. transfers understanding of language concepts into new and different contexts
7. thinks critically and interpretively using information, ideas and increasingly complex arguments to respond to and compose texts in a range of contexts
9. demonstrates understanding of the ways texts reflect personal and public worlds.

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • plan, compose and edit an accurate, coherent and logical text by applying language forms, features and structures appropriate to audience, purpose and context through:
    • the structure of a letter to the editor that incorporates assertion, elaboration and logic in its arguments
    • persuasive argument with appropriate vocabulary, including emotive and qualifying words, appropriate register and a clear sense of audience and purpose
    • the evidence used to support arguments
    • suitable linking words
  • use logical inference in challenging conceptions through the adoption of different points of view, demonstrating:
    • understanding of the key issues in opposing sides of the argument
    • evidence of research
    • integration of key issues into the letter
    • capacity to identify and refute points of view.
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