Dossier of Discovery: A Room with a View

article by Cheryl Bullow , illustrated by Michel Streich

Learning intention:

I am learning to understand the uses of objective and subjective language, differentiating between reporting facts and providing commentary.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify vocabulary to assist with deciding whether a text is factual or an editorial.
  • I can compose an editorial text.
  • I can feature subjective language in my editorial.


Discuss the difference between editorial (where opinions are provided) and a news story (which although at times includes vocabulary intended to influence readers news stories are usually portrayed as being purely factual). Inform students that often the vocabulary included in a text will provide insight into which type a text is. Discuss the difference between objective (neutral) and subjective (reveals an opinion) language.

Read Dossier of Discovery: A Room with a View or listen to the audio recording. Place students in pairs or small groups. Instruct them to look for language that reveals whether Read Dossier of Discovery: A Room with a View is an editorial or a news story.

Discuss responses, jotting ideas on the board for students to refer to later. Ensure students note the following vocabulary that assisted with their choice:

  • excited
  • lucky enough to visit
  • majestic mountains
  • spectacular sunrises
  • ‘unusual’ location
  • battling waves
  • solitary rock
  • enjoyed the sunshine
  • not very comfortable
  • unfortunately
  • unruly river
  • carefree, resourceful friends
  • sadly
  • falling victim
  • thankfully
  • treasured
  • let’s hope


Inform students that they will be experimenting with composing editorials, using subjective language to provide opinions about factual events.

Provide students with some factual information relating to their individual school context. Some ideas include: upcoming events at the school, fundraising events or what the students will be studying in the coming months. Discuss students opinions about the event. Discuss subjective language that could be used to outline students’ opinions and add these to the list on the board. Collaboratively compose a brief editorial, where students’ opinions about the event are included through the use of subjective language. A sample response is:

The exciting athletics carnival is to be held for another year. Students will compete in this incredible event. They will race for victory in each of the individual events. Parents and carers are welcome to join in the fun and to add to the jubilance of the day by cheering on their loved ones. Make sure you have your running gear at the ready as this is an event that is not to be missed.

Instruct students to work with the same partner/small group as earlier. Students may also work independently on this task if they prefer. Tell students to compose a brief editorial outlining their views about the upcoming event and featuring subjective language. Refer students to the list of subjective language on the board for ideas.

Allow time for students to complete their editorials. Once complete, instruct students to swap. Tell students to search the editorials composed by their peers for subjective language. Discuss responses.