The world’s best footballers (soccer players to some) will grace stadiums across Australia and New Zealand and screens across the globe during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

There will be 32 nations competing for the title of World Champions. Kicking off on 20 July and concluding with the final on 20 August, it’s sure to inspire and captivate students throughout Term 3.

Write an epic sports scene
Brainstorming using senses

Tension and drama bring writing to life. Develop your students’ skills in creating tension in their stories or recounts with this simple brainstorming and writing activity.

Use the Five + 1 Senses Lesson Plan and brainstorming template to generate ideas for a tension scene.

Activate prior knowledge

Prior to this lesson, explore and discuss some examples of great tension scenes:

  • Use the Five + 1 Senses brainstorming template to record what the characters see, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel in picture books, fairy tales, movies, commercials, poetry and music.
  • Show students a picture or video and get them to describe what they see using the Five + 1 Senses.
  • Tell a story of a dramatic sporting moment and discuss how the tension escalates.

15 books about soccer/football that you could use >

Here are some real-world examples:

Model the technique

Explain technique: Use the Five + 1 Senses to generate ideas for a tension scene.
Model strategy: As a class, discuss what you might see, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel at a game, as a player or as a fan. List the ideas on the board.
Model writing: Use the following exemplar to demonstrate how to use the ideas to write a great tension scene. For example:

If only I hadn’t been running late, I would never have taken a shortcut through the churchyard. The night was cold, far too cold. I hugged my coat tighter around me. It was weirdly dark too. There were all these shadows around me, tombstones and monuments of people long dead. Names, births, deaths … and now the broken bricks and long grass tell the true story – they are forgotten.

If only I had started home earlier. It would not have been so dark. And so cold …

The wind picked up, cutting through me. I smelt freshly mown grass; someone was paid to care. But over it all was a smell of sweetness. Too sweet.

I put my head down and walked faster. Then the scream pierced the darkness. Heart pounding, I ran.
If only, if only, if only …

Group work

  • Form groups of four and ask students to choose one of the following scenes:
    • You’re in the crowd at the World Cup final.
    • You’re about to take a penalty in the last minute to win the game.
    • There’s a dog on the field in the middle of play.
    • Australia has scored a goal.
  • Give each group a copy of the Five + 1 Senses brainstorming template.
    Either print it out or share it online (the PDF is editable).
  • Give students FIVE minutes to brainstorm ideas for their tension scene using the Five + 1 Senses for their chosen topic.

Individual activity

Give students FOUR minutes to write a tension scene using the results of their brainstorming.
They should write their scene individually.


  • Ask students to share their tension scene with their group.
  • Rate each tension scene using the success criteria found in the Five + 1 Senses Lesson Plan.
  • Ask each group to share their top-rated tension scene with the class.

Sports argument
For and against brainstorm

The key to a strong and original piece of writing is always the plan – it’s like a road map for the entire writing journey.

Most students skip planning because they think it’s boring, but this activity will show them how fun it can be.

Use the For and Against Brainstorm editable PDF template to help students plan their persuasive texts. This activity is broken up into two parts:

  • Part 1: Brainstorming – Brainstorm arguments both for and against the topic before picking a side.
  • Part 2: Selecting and Ordering Ideas – Decide on audience and purpose. Who are you trying to convince and what are you trying to convince them of?

Topic ideas

  • Female athletes should be paid the same as male athletes at the same level.
  • Football is the best sport in the world.
  • E-sports should be included in the Olympics.
  • Males and females should play in the same sports teams.

Use this lesson as a group activity or assigned as an individual task.

Plan an informative piece on the Matildas (Australia’s national football team)
Planning and research

Have students pretend they are sports journalists at the World Cup writing a profile on the Matildas.

Students form small groups to brainstorm questions they have about the Matildas. Then each student chooses a question to research.

They can record their questions, findings and sources in the Research Record template and then use this as the basis for planning their profile.