As a class, research the origin of other popular myths and superstitions such as breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck, or stepping on a crack in the footpath brings misfortune. Each student could find another example of a superstition. These stories can be from the Victorian era or from other cultures.
In a small group, ask students to create a Kahootz 3 animation or a short stop-motion animation using plasticine or clay depicting a selected popular myth that explains the history of the superstition and its origin.
Students can use the storyboard outline in the student activity sheet to help organise their ideas.
Student Activity Sheet H15.5: The legend of Bloody Mary
Subtheme(s): Entertainment and games,Gender roles and stereotypes
In this clip, Minna plays with Adelaide and her brothers. Women and girls had different social expectations placed upon them in comparison to their male counterparts. Opportunities to access education and employment were very different between the sexes.
Generate discussion about gender roles today. What are the expectations that families and society have of males and females, particularly children?
Ask students to research how girls and boys of Minna's time in the 1860s were expected to behave. The following website may be useful:
Compare how these expectations differ from the way young people are expected to act today.
Conduct a 'freeze-frame' activity where students take on a character from a particular era and when the teacher walks around the room and touches their shoulder, the student talks about their life in character.
Students should make a list comparing the social expectations of boys and girls in Minna's era. As a class, compile a large list using each student's research.
Using the class list as inspiration, create a 'good manners' guide for boys and girls living in1868.
Student Activity Sheet H15.6: Different gender roles
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.
Customs and traditions,Entertainment and games,Language and scripting
Play the clip and ask students to list the main events that occur in this part of the story, thinking about what happens and to whom. Create a story ladder by listing each key event one above the other on a class chart. Beside each event indicate which characters were involved, whether each one found the practical joke funny or not, and why this might be the case.
Encourage students to share the names of some of the games they play, whether indoors or outside. Create a large mind map of all of the games mentioned by the students. Encourage them to think of some of the traditional games their parents or grandparents may have taught them and how these differ from some of the more modern games they play today.
Seat students in a circle and ask several of them to recount a time when they played a practical joke on someone. Have them share the prank and then discuss with some of the other students whether the person who was the butt of the joke found it as funny as the practical joker did.
Ask students on which day of the year practical jokes are expected and encouraged. Ask them to research how April Fools' Day came about.
Some of the games played by children in 1868 are similar to those played today but many are different. In 1868 children often played imaginary and 'made up' games outdoors and found interesting ways to amuse themselves and enjoy each other's company. Assist students to work with a partner to use books, an online encyclopaedia or an internet search for lists of traditional and contemporary games. As a class, select three to five games and play them either as a class or in smaller groups.
Ask each pair of students to use the Student Activity Sheet E15.5: Games from the past and games today to create a comparative table with traditional games on one side and contemporary games on the other. Discuss with the class the differences between traditional and modern games played by children. Ask students if they think games from the past or games played today are more fun. Ask them to justify their opinion.
As a class, create a large-format joke book that contains jokes from the past and from today. Read the jokes to students in younger classes, ensuring they are appropriate for these students.
Student Activity Sheet E15.5: Games from the past and games today
Entertainment and games,Gender roles and stereotypes
Play the clip to the class, asking students to focus specifically on what the girls and boys are doing in this part of the story. Highlight the girls' use of imagination to play a joke on the boys. Have the students think about whether it is likely that the boys may previously have been playing jokes on the girls. What types of jokes might they have played on the girls?
Ask students to suggest reasons it is important for children to play games. Compare these reasons to those that children play games today. Have them also think about and list the reasons children in 1868 may have had to find different ways to amuse or to entertain themselves than children do today. Ask them to imagine what they would do to entertain themselves without any modern technologies - even books would have been comparatively rare.
Involve the class in a think-pair-share activity, a cooperative learning strategy where students begin by brainstorming ideas on their own, then interact with a partner and finally share information with another pair of students. Ask each student to think of and list as many reasons as possible that children need to play games or engage in imaginative play, and then ask students to form pairs to discuss their ideas. Finally, ask each pair to share with another pair, forming a group of four.
Ask students to explore the place of modern games in daily life by keeping a leisure journal for a week, using the format provided in Student Activity Sheet E15.6: The games I play. In groups of five, the students can find a creative way to graphically represent information from their leisure journals in order to share with the class. Ask each group to explore the part that gender plays in the leisure activities and games children play today and collate the gender differences, interpreting what they think their results show and why.
Each group could choose one game from their journals that they think others in the class may not know how to play and create a chart with instructions explaining how to play the game. Provide time for each group to teach another group the game they have selected.