Lesson 2: Leadership

Learning intention: To identify and analyse the values, characteristics and skills of an effective leader.


Seeking inspiration for a powerful campaign speech, Hannah listens to a series of famous speeches by women leaders. The audience joins Hannah in hearing Malala Yousafzai (a Pakistani education activist and the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate) and Kamala Harris (America’s first female Vice-President).

In a class discussion, ask students to share any prior knowledge of these leaders. Why are their stories so important? What change have they enacted in the world, and how did they go about this? Can students suggest any other strong leaders or renowned speeches? Why were these so impactful?


The above clip shows Jasmine and Hannah deliver campaign speeches to their homeroom peers, both eager to be elected as class captain. Jasmine assures the class that she is ‘just like them’, while Hannah campaigns on a platform of empathy, inclusion and peer support. Ask students to share their opinions about who should win the election, and why. Who would they vote for, and why?

Following this, allocate students into small groups to identify and discuss the values, characteristics and actions of effective leaders. They might choose to reflect on leaders in their own school, social, cultural or family contexts to inform their thinking. Ask each group to compile a short list of the qualities that they think epitomise an effective leader.


Coming back together as a class, review and compare the groups’ lists, inviting students to justify (or challenge) the inclusion of given values, characteristics and actions. Are the lists similar or are there some contentious inclusions? What might explain the differences in students’ lists? Are the listed qualities universal to all leadership positions, or do advantageous characteristics vary for different contexts?

 Through undertaking this process, the class will develop a jointly constructed ‘leadership criteria’. Record students’ suggestions on an anchor chart for future reference. Explain to the class that a good leader can bring out the best qualities and abilities of each team member, guiding and motivating them to collaboratively pursue shared goals. What else can an effective student leader achieve in a school setting?


Working individually or in pairs, challenge students to draft a job advertisement for the role of class captain at their own school. Students’ advertisements should outline the responsibilities of the particular role and the qualities they believe are important for the position. Before writing, students could look at example advertisements online to see how this short text type should be structured. They could also refer to the leadership criteria chart for ideas.


As a class reflection, display the advertisements around the classroom in a gallery walk so that students can engage with each other’s work.

Australian Curriculum Links

Year 7
Year 8
Civics and Citizenship
Citizenship, identity and diversity
How values based on freedom, respect, fairness and equality of opportunity can support social cohesion and democracy within Australian society.
How culture and religion may influence individuals' and groups' perceptions and expressions of citizenship and their actions as citizens.
Analysis, evaluation and interpretation
Analyse information, data and ideas about political, legal or civic issues to identify and explain differences in perspectives and potential challenges.
Analyse information, data and ideas about political, legal or civic issues to identify and explain differences in perspectives and potential challenges.
Civic participation and decision-making
Explain the methods or strategies related to making decisions about civic participation.
Explain the methods or strategies related to making decisions about civic participation.
Critical and Creative Thinking 
Reflect on the thinking and processes used when completing activities or drawing conclusions.
Invite alternative perspectives and feedback, and consider reasonable criticism to adjust thinking and approaches.
Identify and describe how texts are structured differently depending on their purpose and how language features vary in texts.
Explain how texts are structured depending on their purpose and how language features vary, recognising that some texts are hybrids that combine different genres or elements of different genres.
Identify and explore ideas, points of view, characters, events and/or issues in literary texts, drawn from historical, social and/or cultural contexts, by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors.
Form an opinion about characters, settings and events in texts, identifying areas of agreement and difference with others’ opinions and justifying a response.
Explain the ways that ideas and points of view may represent the values of individuals and groups in literary texts, drawn from historical, social and cultural contexts, by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors.
Share opinions about the language features, literary devices and text structures that contribute to the styles of literary texts.
Analyse the ways in which language features shape meaning and vary according to audience and purpose.
Analyse and evaluate the ways that language features vary according to the purpose and audience of the text, and the ways that sources and quotations are used in a text.
Ethical Understanding
Recognise influences on ethical behaviour and perspectives
Explain how different traits, such as honesty, trust, courage and selfishness interact with responsibilities or duties to determine ethically appropriate responses.
Health and Physical Education
Identities and change
Examine how roles, decision-making, and levels of power, coercion and control within relationships can be influenced by gender stereotypes.
Interacting with others
Examine the roles of respect, empathy, power and coercion in developing respectful relationships.
Investigate strategies that influence how communities value diversity and propose actions they can take to promote inclusion in their communities.
Personal and Social Capability
Social awareness
Acknowledge the emotions, needs, cultures and backgrounds of different groups and compare with their own.
Analyse roles and responsibilities of citizens within communities.
Social management
Appreciate diverse perspectives in a range of collaborative contexts and demonstrate negotiation skills to improve ways of working and outputs.
Devise a plan for leading action and evaluate the appropriateness of various leadership approaches in the process. 
Devise and analyse individual and group decision-making processes.

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