Discrimination

[Episode 2 | 1998 : Mohammed]

Mohammed and Danielle are discussing the fact that she can't play on the boys' cricket team. While Mohammed and his family are moving into the new house, Michaelis and Omar discuss why playing cricket is more important than playing soccer, which leads to a play-off for the rent money.


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: 'Fully discriminated!'
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Subtheme(s): Entertainment and games; Gender roles and stereotypes
Discover
  • When Danielle isn't permitted to play cricket with the boys' team, she says she is 'fully discriminated'. Ask students to discuss:
  1. what Danielle means (and what she should have said)
  2. the definition of the word 'discrimination' and its meaning in the context of this story.
  • Examine students' responses and have them think about and share other situations where this kind of discrimination occurs.
  • As a class, discuss reasons why girls might not be allowed to play a so-called 'boys' sport. Use questions such as: Should boys be allowed to play 'girls' sports? Why or why not? Ask students to research the rules of mixed sport for the most popular sports in their school, for example, football, cricket, netball, softball or rounders, and Newcomb or volleyball. What do students think of these rules? Are they fair? Why? Why not?

Reflect
  • Having discussed whether boys and girls should be permitted to play each others' sports, ask students to prepare to debate their position by writing an argument 'for' or 'against' the proposition. They should include reasons to support their arguments.

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Activity 2: Mohammed's family
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Subtheme(s): Multiculturalism; Relationships
Discover
  • This short clip gives the audience a considerable amount of information about Mohammed and his family. Have students note down as much as they can remember about all the people in Mohammed's family.
  • Students can discuss their notes and then make a list of the main characters. Have them consider how the filmmaker conveys information about the characters to the audience, for example, by their clothes, their way of speaking, what they say, and how they relate to each other.
  • Emma, Mohammed's mother, tells Mrs Benson they will play their music softly.
  1. What does this say about her as a person?
  2. What do Emma's clothes, including her headscarf, indicate to the audience?
  3. The whole family plays cricket with their landlord, Michaelis. What does this tell us?

Reflect
  • Discuss what the neighbour Mrs Benson might think about the family. Have students write a letter from Mrs Benson to a member of her own family describing the new neighbours and what she thinks of them. For example, what is Mrs Benson's opinion of Emma wearing a headscarf?
  • Next, ask students to consider a different point of view. Have them write a letter from either Mohammed's mother, Emma, or his father, Omar, to a relative or friend, describing their new home, the neighbourhood and the people they have met so far.

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Activity 3: Michaelis
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Subtheme(s): Character; Language and scripting
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  • Focus students' attention on the character Michaelis. Discuss his role in this clip, what sort of person he appears to be and how they know this. Read the script from this clip, looking closely at the exchange between Mohammed's father, Omar, and Michaelis as they move the furniture into the house.
  • Ask students what Omar means when he says 'Wogs play soccer'. Discuss the term 'wog' and what it means in this context. Why does Michaelis argue that 'wogs' play cricket? What do students think this tells the audience about attitudes in Australia? Discuss the term 'multiculturalism' and have students find and write down the dictionary definition.
  • Explain that the character Michaelis provides a strong narrative link across multiple episodes of the television series My Place, connecting many decades in the house. To follow the story of Michaelis, screen and discuss the following: Episode 6: 1958: Michaelis; Episode 5: 1968: Sofia; 'The Tippy' from Episode 4: 1978: Mike; and 'Food and chores' from Episode 3: 1988: Lily.

Reflect
  • Have students write a brief report on multiculturalism in Australia, based on the life of Michaelis. Focus on contributions made by immigrants in the areas of language, food, sport and culture.

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