Seashells

[Episode 21 | 1808 : Sarah]

After their outdoor adventure, Sarah and Alice have a moment of companionship but it is quickly ruined when Alice exerts her power over Sarah's position.


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 [2]

Activity 1: Metaphors
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Subtheme(s): Character; Language and scripting; Social order and education
Discover
  • Introduce students to the language of metaphors and similes. Find examples of metaphors from literature, music, drama and poetry. Some useful websites are:
  1. Buzzle.com, 'Metaphor Examples for Kids', http://www.buzzle.com/articles/metaphor-examples-for-kids.html/
  2. Said What?, 'Metaphors', http://www.saidwhat.co.uk/spoon/metaphors.php/
  3. Said What?, 'Similes' http://www.saidwhat.co.uk/spoon/similes.php/
  • Ask students to write three similes and three metaphors.
  • Introduce students to the idea that Alice feels like she is imprisoned by her medical condition. As a class count the number of times Alice is filmed looking out through windows or a doorways, but is unable to leave. Do this for the whole episode. Ask students how they think this would make them feel if they were in Alice's position.
  • In the clip A female gaol Alice claims to know of a 'children's gaol in Sydney town'. She threatens to send Sarah there if she doesn't take her outside. View the scene by the creek in which Alice says that the prison is 'dark and cold and you have to stay inside all day'. Ask students how she would know this and to consider if she may in fact be talking about her own life. Ask the students how this would make them feel about Alice.
  • Have students develop character profiles for Sarah and Alice. Make sure each profile lists the character's physical characteristics, likes and dislikes. Describe their life so far and include any information from the My Place storybook about the character.

Reflect
  • Ask students to consider the lives of the two characters, Sarah and Alice. Ask them to write a poem about each. Students could consider writing their poem as either a ballad, haiku, blank or simple verse. They should use at least one metaphor to describe how they feel about each of the characters. Share the poems with the rest of the class.
  • Research Australian poets from this era and read some of their poems. AB Paterson and Henry Lawson are good for examples. Students could model their own poem on one of the poems from their research.

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Activity 2: Friendship
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Subtheme(s): Character; Gender roles and stereotypes; Relationships
Discover
  • As a class discuss how in the clip Seashells we begin to see a change in the relationship between Sarah and Alice. Download the episode script, available on My Place for Teachers, 'Behind the scenes'. Watch this scene closely and ask students to highlight the dialogue that shows how Alice is treating Sarah. Note in particular how Sarah is ordered to do things for Mrs Owen and Alice as if she is their servant. Ask students to write down what it is that Sarah says that changes the balance of power in their relationship. As students to consider why this changes takes place.
  • As a class view all of Episode 21. Focus students' attention on the fact that climbing the tree together cements the friendship between Sarah and Alice. Ask students to storyboard an extra scene for the episode to portray how Sarah and Alice become friends, focusing on the reasons both girls have for changing their attitudes to each other. Have students complete Student Activity Sheet: E21.6 Friendship.

Reflect
  • Group students into pairs and ask them to re-enact the conversation between Sarah and Mrs Owen at Alice's funeral. Focus attention on the part when Sarah tells Mrs Owen of Alice's favourite things and her enjoyment of life.
  • Ask students to write a eulogy for Sarah to deliver at Alice's funeral. Make sure they understand to concentrate on the positive aspects of their relationship. They will need to reinterpret the negative parts of their relationship to see them in a more positive light.

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