The bushranger

[Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

While out walking Duchess, Davey and Alice witness a bushranger on the run from some local soldiers, and they misdirect the soldiers to ensure his swift escape. Davey is confronted by the Owen boys who tease him about the imminent fate of Duchess.


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: Teasing
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Subtheme(s): Culture; Gender roles and stereotypes; Social order and education
  • As a class, view the clip, The bushranger. Ask students to look for information about roles and relationships and class distinctions between characters. Look at the clothing of the characters, the way they each speak to one another and the actions and expressions they use to address each other. Ask students to work in pairs and list what they have observed about people's roles, class, and attitudes towards the bushranger and troopers.
  • Examine the teasing scene involving Davey, Rupert and Harold. Ask students to consider reasons why the boys may have been teasing Davey, the power relationships between the three boys, and the likely consequences the boys may face as a result of engaging in bullying behaviour. Have students provide evidence from the clip to support their opinions. 
  • View the clip again and ask students to consider how accurate the boys' descriptions are about what will happen to Duchess when she is taken to the tannery. Ask them to explain why they think this, in light of Alice's response to Davey's questions.

  • Ask students to write three reports of the scene where Davey helps the bushranger escape. The reports must cover three different viewpoints including:
  1. from the position of Davey or Alice
  2. from the position of the bushranger or the troopers
  3. from the position of a newspaper reporter who observed the scene.
  • Each report needs to use the voice of the person to describe what happened at the time of the incident. When writing the reports, ask students to consider the roles of each character, their social class and education, the attitudes to the other people in the scene and use of the appropriate language and expressions for the era.
  • Alternatively, students could complete a similar exercise on the scene where Harold and Rupert tease Davey. Ask students to write three reports of the scene from the following viewpoints:
  1. from the position of Davey or Alice
  2. from the position of Harold or Rupert
  3. from the position of a newspaper reporter who observed the scene.


Student Activity Sheet E18.4: Teasing

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