Greek school

[Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

Attendance at Greek school is a common expectation for young Greek children in Australia. Michaelis is attending Greek school to learn about the history, language and culture of his ancestry, but his mind is still on the escapades of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a TV serial he is fixated on.


English

The Australian curriculum: English

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The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.

English activities [3]

Activity 1: You're a Greek boy
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Subtheme(s): Character; Customs and traditions; Social order and education
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  • Michaelis has to go to Greek school. View the clip and discuss this scene, focusing on how Michaelis feels about being made to go. Ask students to explain how they know that Michaelis doesn't want to be there, for example, body language, dialogue and interaction between characters. Discuss the reasons why Michaelis is made to go to Greek school. Find out if any students in the class attend a language school outside regular school hours. If so, ask them to describe their school, what they learn and what they enjoy about it.
  • Michaelis has his mind on other things while he is at Greek school. He misses important dates in Greek history and information about the Patriarch. His teacher berates him for his inattention. Discuss the purpose of this scene with the class. What does it tell the audience about Greek school? Relate this discussion back to the reasons put forward in the previous discussion about why Michaelis is forced to go to Greek school.
  • Michaelis's Greek teacher Kyrios Josephides tells him, 'Michaelis, if you are good, your life will be good to you in return.' Discuss this advice with the class and have students write a description of what they think it means. As a class, create a list of useful advice on how to live your life.

Reflect
  • Explain that many groups of people who have migrated to another country deem the preservation of their language, culture and traditions to be important. To help maintain cultural traditions, they may plan for children to attend special classes during weekends. Have students write an argument for or against this practice, or hold a class discussion on the issue.

Activity 2: Television
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Subtheme(s): Entertainment and games; Inventions and electronic media
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  • Michaelis catches snippets of the popular TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood using binoculars. Discuss why watching television is important for Michaelis. Ask students: What does this tell us about Michaelis as a character? What does it tell us about his family?
  • Have students discuss Michaelis's ingenuity in finding ways to watch the TV program. Ask them what they would have done in his place. Ask students to write a short story describing what their life would be like without a television. They should include how this would be a benefit or a problem for them.

Reflect
  • Ask the class what they feel the role of television is in our society today. How important do they think it is? What other forms of entertainment do people use? Ask students to write a report describing what they think is the future of television. What will television be like in ten years' time?

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Activity 3: Robin Hood
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Subtheme(s): Entertainment and games; Inventions and electronic media
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  • Michaelis loves watching the TV show The Adventures of Robin Hood. Discuss the TV show with the class and list the key characteristics that can be identified from the snippets seen on screen.
  • Discuss the origin of the legend of Robin Hood. There have been many adaptations of the story. Students can research these on the internet, compiling a list of all the versions they find. If possible, view a sample of the many clips from film, animation and TV shows available online and compare them. Have students rate the different versions, from the ones they like best to those they like least, and explain their choices.
  • Survey the class and create a list of all the TV shows that students like to watch. Create a graph showing the most to the least popular. Introduce the term 'action drama' to describe shows like The Adventures of Robin Hood. Students could identify other programs that fit into this category.
  • Brainstorm what students like about their favourite action drama TV shows. Discuss this information as a class and then have students work in small groups to classify and group the information into key categories. When students report back to the class, combine similar ideas to create a formula for the elements that are 'must haves' in children's television action dramas.

Reflect
  • Ask students to write a descriptive, detailed review of their favourite action drama TV show, drawing on information gathered in the previous activities.

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