Our Beach

story by Sue Murray , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Learning Intention:

I am learning to write persuasive dialogue from different character perspectives so that I can present an engaging role play for my peers.

Success Criteria:

  • I can use the structure of a playscript for dialogue writing
  • I can work together in a group
  • I can write persuasively for a particular purpose
  • I can experiment with the way I deliver dialogue, trying different word emphasis, pauses, volume and pace
  • I can discuss feedback with peers in a respectful manner.


Essential knowledge:


For resources related to peer feedback, including the Two Stars and Wish and TAG templates, use the Peer Feedback document from the Department of Education website.


Understanding text:

Read the story as a class or listen to the audio if you have a digital subscription.


Oral language and communication:

Organise students into groups of 3. Explain to students that they are to each take on the role of either Mum, (Rory) the narrator or Gus.

Have students imagine that 12 months have passed after the story, and the family has spent a year living in Perth. It is time to decide whether to stay in Perth or return home.

Students are to plan, write and perform a short conversation between the three characters.

To prepare for this activity, each small group must compete the following:

  • Assign roles.
  • Use the clues in the story to brainstorm what the past 12 months in Perth might have been like for each character. To do this, encourage students to create a table with 3 columns, one per character. Also encourage them to re-read parts of the story to gather the required information.
  • Decide which characters would like to stay and which would like to return home. It will be more interesting if the characters have different ideas about what they would prefer.
  • Write a set of dialogue, recording the conversation the family will have. Have students look at the first double page of the play ‘The Perfect Crime Novel’ to see how to organize the layout of their script.
  • Once the script is written, students are to rehearse. During rehearsal they should decide on how each line is delivered – considering specific words that should be emphasized, moments when there needs to be a pause, the tone of voice, pace of line delivery and changes in volume required throughout the conversation.


Assessment for/as learning:

Organise each group with a partner group. Have the groups take turns to perform for each other. When it is the group’s turn to be the audience, have them use the Two stars and a wish feedback strategy as peer assessment. Encourage these two stars and a wish to be given verbally so that a respectful conversation is had about each performance.