In this clip, Evelyn and her brother Edward are playing an imaginary game with their friend Freddie Müller under the tree. They are pretending to be big game hunters in India. In 1908, India was a place of interest as a British colony, due to the large sources of agricultural wealth. While the Australian Federation was formed in 1901, India was still struggling to achieve independence.
Evelyn and her family were British and many of the newspapers and books of the day reported India as being exotic and adventurous. Students can discover why through research and discussion. A starting point could be presenting students with the following statement:
The British Empire, in the early decades of the twentieth century, ruled a population of approximately 400–500 million people, which covered roughly two-fifths of the world's land area.
- Ask students: Can you identify with the game Evelyn and her friends are playing? Discuss where and when imaginary games are played and what themes children use when playing them. Discuss why Evelyn uses India and hunting as her themes for the imaginary games she plays with the other children.
- Ask students to work individually to find out the connection between the British Empire and India in 1908. They should make four fact cards with the information collected. Some focus questions to help students could include:
- What was the connection between Australia and the British Empire in 1908?
- Why was the connection between India and Britain a hot topic in 1908?
- Why are Australian children discussing British India?
- For more in-depth information, students can conduct research in the school or local library, or online. As a starting point, refer to the websites listed below:
Tabblo,'Historians' India (1903 & 1908)', http://www.tabblo.com/studio/stories/view/1357839
British Medical Journal, 'India in 1908', http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2332116
Wikipedia, 'Presidencies and provinces of British India', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_India
- The fact cards can then be shared and displayed together on the wall or pin board. As a class, review the facts researched and discuss the main points.