The legend of Bloody Mary

[Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

Minna and some of her friends play the game 'Bloody Mary' and scare each other with stories about what she is like. After Minna breaks their mirror, she decides to give the neighbourhood boys a fright by crawling under their house and making strange noises.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [2]

Activity 1: Old money
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Subtheme(s): Currency; Customs and traditions

In this clip, Adelaide's brother offers Minna some money for a dare. During the 19th century and part of the 20th century, Australia used an imperial system of currency based on the British system.

  • Discuss with students the concept of using a currency and why we use money. What were the origins of money and what was used prior to a standardised currency?
  • Ask students what currency is used in Australia today? Have them bring examples to school and take rubbings of the coins. They could investigate how currency is minted in Australia and how it is distributed into the community.
  • View the Virtual tour in the Currency Museum section of the Reserve Bank website at
  • Ask students to find out what currency was used in Minna's time (1860s). Have them compare how these denominations are different from those used today.

  • Ask students to research and illustrate Australian coins that were available in the 1860s. They should find information about the significance of the designs used on the coinage (consider both the front and back of each coin) and what each design represented. Students could create their own coinage based on designs of important items from past and present Australia. They could pour plaster into bottle tops and then draw their designs as a relief impression. Students would then paint the coins when dry.
  • Have students research newspaper advertisements from the 1860s and gather information about what a grocery item such as a loaf of bread would cost to buy in 1860s.
  • Create an imaginary shop where the students can use their coins to purchase items. Students could calculate the total cost of a list of grocery items.


Activity 2: Fashion and social class
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Subtheme(s): Social order and education; Fashion

In this clip, Minna plays with the children of a wealthy landowner. The type of clothes each child is wearing reflects the many differences in gender and social class of the 1860s.

  • Ask students to discuss how the clothes worn by the different characters indicate their social status.
  • Ask them to identify how the difference between the particular fabrics, hairstyles and clothing reflect the level of wealth and social position of each individual.
  • The following websites may be useful:
  1. The Victorian Web, 'Victorian Social History: An Overview',
  2. Victorian Era England, 'Late Victorian Fashion: Women, Men, Girls, Boys',

  • Ask students to find examples of fashion and clothing from the Victorian era and make a sketchbook of different styles and clothing pieces. For example, students might find information or pictures of a corset, breeches, petticoat or wig. Students could illustrate their sketchbook with images or draw pictures of the clothing items they found. Students could also write a passage explaining why this piece of clothing was worn and by whom.


Student Activity Sheet H15.2 Fashion and social class

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