This little piggy

[Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

Alice and her family are delivering food to the indentured convicts working at the stone quarry when they have the idea of organising a pig race for the half-day holiday.


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: Children's games
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Subtheme(s): Character; Customs and traditions; Entertainment and games
  • As a class, view the clip This little piggy and help the students to understand who the characters are and what is happening in the clip. Ask questions such as: Who are the other characters and what are they doing? Which characters belong to the one family? For example, we know Alice is the daughter of one of the men because she calls him 'Pa'. Encourage students to find evidence that gives information about characters, such as: the Owen family that is sitting in the horse and cart has requested the building of a house by Christmas Day; the workers are building the house by quarrying stone; Alice's father, Sam, is supervising the building of the house and the convicts who are building it. Ask students to write their responses on Student Activity Sheet E19.1 Children's games to record this information.
  • In 1828, pastime activities, games and entertainment were different to those of today. Children primarily played outdoors, making up games or playing games that they had learned from their parents. For example, in this clip, Alice and George play chasey, sing 'This little piggy' and beat a drum. Resources were often limited, so entertainment involved enjoying one another's company, telling stories and creating toys from found objects. Ask students to research children's games and entertainment in the 1820s. They should use Student Activity Sheet E19.1 Children's games to complete a Venn diagram with five games played in the 1820s, five games played today and five games that have been played in both eras.
  • As a class, discuss:
  1. When and where can the games in the clip and those listed in the Venn diagram be played?
  2. How inclusive are the games in the clip compared with the games children play today?
  3. Why do some games stand the test of time?
  4. What are some similarities and differences between traditional and modern games?

  • As a class, work together to organise a traditional games morning. Divide the class into groups of two or three. Each group needs to find out how to play a traditional game. As part of the games day, students can teach each other the games they have learned and also bring in and play traditional board games.
  • Additionally, students can make up their own games. This may be a card game, board game or schoolyard game. For their game, they are to write a set of instructions on how to play the game and how to win the game. If possible, film the game in action with a narration about how to play the game.


Activity 2: Family structure and social status
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Subtheme(s): Character; Gender roles and stereotypes; Relationships
  • As a class, view the clip This little piggy, focusing students' attention on the relationship between the character of Alice and that of George, her playmate. Then view the entire Episode 19 | 1828: Alice. Ask students to respond to the following questions:
  1. How old do you think Alice is? How old do you think George is?
  2. What sort of person does Alice appear to be and how do you know this?
  3. What sort of person does George appear to be and how do you know this?
  4. What roles and responsibilities does Alice have in the family and on the farm? 
  5. What roles and responsibilities does George have in the family and on the farm? 
  6. How does Alice relate to other characters?
  7. How does George relate to other characters?
  • Create two class sociograms, one for Alice and one for George. Place their names in the centre of each and then use lines to join circles containing the names of other characters and listing their association/relationship with either character. For example, Alice helps her mother to carry food to the workers; Alice plays chasey with George. Visit the ABC3 My Place for Teachers website (The Community Tree, for 1828 and read the diary of Alice to see who she is and what she is like.

  • Ask students to develop historyface pages ( for the characters of Alice and George. Students need to analyse and deconstruct the characters. Have students read the script for My Place Episode 19 and discuss the following: 
  1. Who is Alice? 
  2. Who is George? 
  3. How do they dress? 
  4. What is their personality? 
  5. Why are they friends? 
  6. Who are their family members? 
  7. What roles and responsibilities do they have on the farm?
  • For the historyface profiles, suggest that Alice and George have been transported to the present and want to have a social networking home page. Refer to Student Activity Sheet E19.2 Family structure and social status.
  • Have the students select another character, such as Freddie the convict who is keen to hold a horse race, Sam (Alice's father) or Sarah (Alice's mother). Using what they see and hear in the clip, have students create a historyface profile for that character.


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