Horsewhipping

[Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

Mr Owen has Davey demonstrate whip cracking to his grandsons but then gives Davey some sad news about his favourite horse, Duchess. Despite Davey's protestations, Duchess is headed for the tannery.


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 [1]

Activity 1: Stablehands and status
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Subtheme(s): Character; Entertainment and games; Social order and education
Discover
  • Have students share their ideas about the roles of each character in the clip. In each case, ask students to provide examples from the clip to support their ideas. Watch My Place Episode 18 | 1838: Davey in its entirety and then ask students the following questions:
  1. Who are the characters cracking the whip? Are they related? How do you know? 
  2. Why are they cracking the whip? 
  3. Why don't Davey and George initially take part in the whip-cracking?
  4. What is the role of each character in this clip? Why do you think this?
  • Replay the clip, Horsewhipping, and ask students to notice the filmmaking techniques used in the production of the episode. Ask students to consider:
  1. How does the filmmaker use stereotypes to convey ideas, for example, what does the clothing tell you about each character?
  2. How do the characters interact with each other? What devices and expressions are used to relay information about their roles, relationships and status in relation to one another? 
  3. Why do you think there are no women involved in the whip-cracking?
  • Review the responses provided by students and ask them to share any new information they discover about the main character Davey, the groom, Mr Owen, the landowner, George, the stablehand, and the other characters, Mr Owen's son and grandsons. As a class, list the events that happen in this clip.
  • Ask the students to complete Student Activity Sheet E18.1: Stablehands and status to identify the people shown in the clip (and episode). Have them comment upon each character's role by drawing upon what they see and hear in the clip, for example, clothes they are wearing, their actions, and any relevant dialogue.

Reflect
  • Encourage students to imagine what the Owen farm would have been like. Ask them to create a birds-eye view map. They will need to think about various farm buildings including housing, stables, sheds along with yards, paddocks, water supply, trees and other vegetation. As a class, refer to ABC3, 'My Place', http://www.abc.net.au/abc3/myplace/ (as a reference to what buildings were on the farm).
  • In pairs, have students create a schedule for a day on this farm, and then share ideas with the class about how work on this farm would be different from a farm today.

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