The horse and carriage

[Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

Miss Müller is picked up by the newly furbished horse and carriage owned by the Müller Horse & Carriage Company. Victoria follows the carriage until Miss Müller is let off at the cemetery. Victoria runs into the Irish tradesman and learns that her father is having financial difficulties. This is also confirmed when she arrives home to hear her parents arguing.


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 [2]

Activity 1: Miss Müller
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Subtheme(s): Character; Gender roles and stereotypes
Discover
  • This is the first time Victoria sees Miss Müller. Ask students to describe the character of Miss Müller.
  1. What does the filmmaker want us to think about her? Look at how she is presented.
  2. What shots are used?
  3. How does the use of long shots socially position this character to the audience?
  4. Why does the filmmaker choose to keep her at a distance in this story?

Reflect
  • As a class, discuss how Miss Müller is dressed, in particular the colour she is wearing. Ask students to answer the following questions:
  1. What is the symbolism of her black clothing?
  2. What message does the black clothing give to the audience and to Victoria?
  3. Why does the filmmaker want Victoria to think Miss Müller is a witch?
  4. What do you think Miss Müller's role might be in this story?

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Activity 2: Puns
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Subtheme(s): Language and scripting
Discover
  • The Irish tradesman makes a pun about Miss Müller being 'bewitching' when Victoria asks if she is a witch. A pun is a play on words. Discuss puns and have the students research well-known puns such as 'fuelling flames', 'greasing wheels' and 'under the pump'. Some useful websites are:
  1. Wikipedia, 'Pun', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun
  2. Worsley School, 'Puns', http://www.worsleyschool.net/socialarts/puns/pun.html

Reflect
  • Encourage students to find examples of puns, or jokes based on puns. You could look at the television series Round the Twist, Episode 9: Series 2: Ice Maiden, where Bronson's ice sculpture begins to melt and Pete says 'I think your horse has got the runs.' You can purchase this series from Australian Children' Television Foundation (ACTF): Learning Centre, 'Round the Twist' http://www.actf.com.au/learning_centre/title_pages/rtt_tp.php
  • Students should add unfamiliar words and phases from the episode to their language journal and find out the meaning and origin of the words.

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