Secondary Workshop – Report Writing

This workshop is based on a scene from the biographical fiction Black Jack Anderson by Elaine Forrestal, published by Penguin Books Australia, Melbourne, 2008.


  • 1 hour – introduction, discussion and 1st draft writing
  • 2 hours – redrafting, editing and dramatisation

1st hour

A scene from the biographical fiction Black Jack Anderson will be read to the whole group.

Questions will be invited about the time, place, action and people involved in the scene.

In pairs or small groups the students will discuss the fictional events.

Each student will then write a report of the incident imagining they were present. They may choose to be:

a) a member of the public called as a witness during the trial of Black Jack Anderson.

b) One of the soldiers stationed at King George Sound reporting to his superior officer, Major Lockyer.

2nd hour

Once the initial report has been written students can swap their drafts for the purpose of checking the basic facts.

Naturally, as in life, there will be many different versions of the events described.

Students may wish to read the scene for themselves. (Black Jack Anderson pp26 – 30)

Editing and redrafting can be carried out in pairs or individually.

Then decisions will need to be made about the best way to present the finished reports – verbally, hand-written, typed?


Set up a courtroom scene in which students take on the roles of magistrate, prosecutor, defendant,witness at the trial of Black Jack Anderson.