Chores and punishment

[Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

Evelyn's brother Edward taunts her with the prospect that their father will punish her for being irresponsible about the fireworks. Evelyn needs to complete her chores by five o'clock. She is eventually saved by Miss Müller's generosity.


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: Avoiding punishment
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment
  • Ask the class to describe what is happening in this scene. A filmmaker uses various techniques to convey information about characters. What techniques are used in this scene to tell the audience about Evelyn and Edward?

  • Ask students to complete the chart on the Student Activity Sheet E11.7, and then consider how the events in this sequence help the scene to unfold.
  • Ask the students to list all the chores Evelyn and Edward are expected to perform, then write a list of chores they themselves do at home. Compare the lists and ask students to evaluate which ones are more difficult. Ask them to tick which chores they get rewarded or paid for.


Activity 2: Creating dramatic tension
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Subtheme(s): Character
  • Filmmakers, like writers, often use 'imagery' to create dramatic tension in a scene. Have students identify possible tension-building devices in this scene and discuss how they are used. For example, the clock is used to show that time is passing quickly. Using the clock as an example, ask students the following questions:
  1. What do clocks symbolise?
  2. How has the filmmaker used the clock in this scene?
  3. What is the purpose of the ticking sound?
  4. How does it make the audience feel?
  5. What does the use of the clock add to the scene?

  • Examine the character of Edward and have students answer the following:
  1. What is the role of Edward in this scene?
  2. What does he say?
  3. What does he do?
  4. What sounds can we hear?
  5. Why has the filmmaker included the strap in this scene?
  6. What does it symbolise?
  7. What does the strap indicate to Evelyn?
  8. What is the purpose of Edward hitting the strap on the table?
  9. How does this add tension to the story?
  • Following the discussion ask students to summarise the discussion by answering the questions on Student Activity Sheet E11.8.


Activity 3: Punishment
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment; Culture; Relationships
  • Evelyn is pressured to complete her chores while Edward taunts her with the prospect of punishment by her father. As a class discuss what punishment is anticipated in this scene. Also consider what would have been usual punishments for girls and boys of this era and how they compare to punishments handed out by parents today.

  • Ask students to take a position on one side of a debate. The topic for the debate is: 'Punishment is the most effective form of communication for parents in dealing with their children today'. Each student should include three effective points for or against the topic, giving examples to support their position.


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