The shooting

[Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

Davey is on the run with Duchess but has his preconceptions about bushrangers challenged when he witnesses them shooting Mr Owen and stealing from him.


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: The thief
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Subtheme(s): Gender roles and stereotypes; Language and scripting; Transport
  • Play the soundtrack of this clip, without the vision. Ask each student to use Student Activity Sheet E18.5: The thief to list sounds they can hear. Have them form groups of three to share and compare what they have listed. As a class, discuss what students think has taken place in this clip.
  • Have each student use the storyboard, also found on Student Activity Sheet E18.5: The thief, to draw four scenes they think will accompany the clip's soundtrack.
    Replay the clip, this time with both sound and images. Encourage students to share anything that surprised them about what happens in the clip. View the entire episode and talk about how the scene fits into the whole story.
  • Create a story ladder for the clip, by listing each key event from the clip as a sentence, one above the other. To help clarify the events in the clip, ask students the following questions: 
  1. Where do you think Davey is going and why?
  2. Which horse is Davey riding? Who owns the horse?
  3. Does Davey's 'gun' actually shoot Mr Owen? Why did Davey initially believe this?
  4. Who actually shoots Mr Owen? Why did he get shot?
  5. Who is the 'thief' in this scene?
  • Remind the class that the clip is an imaginary story that has been created by the screenwriter and filmmakers. Discuss and identify the techniques used by the filmmakers to create tension, in order to hold the interest of the audience. Point out aspects such as interesting and authentic looking settings, engaging action and dialogue, sound, and carefully selected costumes and props.

  • Discuss reasons why stereotypes are used in books and films, explaining how they can quickly convey an idea to an audience. Point out that screenwriters, authors and filmmakers use stereotypes to lead people to form a positive or a negative impression about a person or a group. For example, this is a very short clip and yet the filmmaker has been able to use stereotypes to convey very quickly to the audience the idea that some of the characters are bushrangers. Ask the class to use Student Activity Sheet E18.5: The thief to draw and label items of costume and props to show how a filmmaker can create the idea that a character is a bushranger.
  • Ask students to rewrite the ending of the scene. Have them imagine that the bushranger doesn't shoot Mr Owen. What do they think would happen next?


Activity 2: Justice
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Subtheme(s): Character; Culture; Relationships
  • As a class, list the main events in this part of the story. Ask students to think about what happened, why and to whom. Have them share their responses and discuss them, listing the main ideas and key characters involved, for further reference. Ask students the following questions:
  1. Who are the people in this clip?
  2. What is each person doing?
  3. Who are the 'goodies' and 'baddies' in this clip? How do you know?
  4. Davey says he has got to get away. Do you think he is playing a game or is he running away with the horse? Why do you think this?
  5. What laws do you think have been broken and who has broken them in this clip?
  6. What different feelings does Davey experience in the scene?
  • View the clip, The bushranger, as a class. Ask students what they feel the clip is showing about the relationship between Davey and the bushranger. Ask students the following questions:
  1. How does Davey see the bushranger in this clip? 
  2. Why do Davey and Alice direct the soldiers, who are chasing the bushranger, in a different direction? 
  3. How do Australians typically view bushrangers? As heroes or as villains?
  • Replay the clip, The shooting, to the class and compare the two clips and what they show about Davey's and Alice's attitude to bushrangers. Ask students to consider if Davey still feels the same way about the bushranger at the end of this clip? Do you think he feels responsible for the actions of the bushranger he earlier helped save from the troopers?

  • Have students work with a partner to conduct a hot seat role-play, where each student takes turns to be in the hot seat, firstly as the bushranger who shot the man, and then as Davey. Have students take turns to question each character about their everyday life and their beliefs about what took place in the clip. Students should answer questions from the point of view of the character, and respond in character using appropriate gestures, body language, facial expressions, vocabulary, tone and accents.
  • As a class, dramatise a series of courtroom scenes where the bushranger is charged with horse stealing and murder. A case is put against him and his defence lawyer argues his point of view. Include a scene in the jury room where the jury discusses the case and decides whether to convict the bushranger or not.
  • Hold a class debate on the following topic: 'Should children be allowed to play games that involve fighting?' Ask students to consider and answer the following questions: 
  1. Do you or have you ever played with toy guns, toy soldiers, or even computer games that simulate fighting? 
  2. What is the appeal of these types of games and toys? 
  3. Do these games and toys have any relationship to the idea of the bushranger as an Australian hero?
  • Have students use Student Activity Sheet E18.6: Justice to write a paragraph stating their opinions about the debate topic.



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