A Greek garden

[Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

Michaelis and his father are working in their garden when Janis reminds Michaelis that it is time for The Adventures of Robin Hood on TV. When his mother comes to congratulate her husband and son on their work in the garden, she realises that the baby is coming.


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: Greek gardening
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment; Multiculturalism; Food
  • Michaelis's family places great importance on keeping an extensive domestic garden to meet the family's needs. Discuss this with the class, focusing on why having a garden is an important aspect of this story. What relationship does this garden have with Michaelis's family's Greek culture?
  • Find out how many students have vegetable gardens at home. These students can tell the class about their garden, what they grow in it and why they have it.
  • Explain to the class the concept of the 'kitchen gardens' now found in schools and community areas.

  • Have students find out more about the 'Kitchen gardens program' established by Stephanie Alexander. Discuss the possibility of setting up a kitchen garden at the school and have students design their ideal kitchen garden. What would they grow? Why have they made these choices?

Activity 2: Links to the old country
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment; Historical events; Multiculturalism
  • The opening shot in the clip includes a record player playing Greek music in the background. This clip highlights some of the ways in which Michaelis's parents are preserving links with the country of their birth. The clips 'Greek school' and 'A Greek garden' demonstrate two ways family members connect with their old way of life. Discuss this issue with the class.
  • Ask students to find examples of Greek culture in this clip, including Michaelis's parents speaking Greek. Have students share their ideas, discuss what they have observed and consider why they think the family continues these practices.
  • If there are students in the class or in the school who have recently arrived from another country, ask them to share some of their memories and traditions from their home country. Some suggestions could include music, food, sport and family traditions.
  • Have students reflect on, and write a description of, the Australian traditions they would take with them if they were to emigrate to another country.

  • Michaelis helps the family in a number of ways. Discuss what is expected of him and the chores he has to do. Have students consider the statement: 'Childhood is for playing and children should not have to do chores.' Ask them to write their arguments 'for' or 'against' this statement in the form of a persuasive text.

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