Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment,Inventions and electronic media
In this clip we see Ben and Leck working by candlelight at night. Lighting is a basic aspect of life that has changed drastically over the course of Australia's history, reflecting advances in modern technology and science.
As a class, ask students to think about lighting and how buildings and homes are lit today. Ask the students to think about sources of power and lighting in Ben's era. Ask students the following questions:
How would it feel to walk around in a world without street lights?
How would this affect the way you would live and work at night-time?
Ask students to research the history of lighting, focusing on the following questions to guide them:
What type of lights would you find in houses in Ben's era?
How bright are candles compared to modern electrical lights?
What different types of lighting have existed in Australia?
Ask students to create a history timeline of lights and lighting in Australia. Students could find or draw images of different lamps and lights from a variety of historical eras, writing a description about how and when each lamp was used and the power source.
Alternatively, they may wish to use a Timeline Creator such as http://timerime.com. This website tool provides a template for students to create an online timeline, which allows for the inclusion of graphics and multimedia elements.
Have students complete a 24-hour log of activities they might undertake in a typical day. Ask them to think about the following questions:
How many of these activities are performed at night-time?
How does the length of daylight in winter and summer affect these activities?
What impact would the lack of electrical lighting have on the activities they could complete in a typical day?
Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment,Inventions and electronic media,Relationships
In this clip, Ben and Leck fix the mechanism of a broken clock. Clocks and the ability to keep accurate time have been an important part of people's lives for hundreds of years.
As a class, discuss with students what they know about the history of clocks.
Ask students to research information on clocks by creating an A to Z glossary about clocks. Students should create entries about clock-related words beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Prompt their inquiry with the following questions:
What are some examples of early clocks?
What are some of the different uses for clocks in Ben's era?
How has keeping accurate time been used to help navigate ships?
In the clip Ben and Leck are attempting to fix a pendulum clock. Have students research how a pendulum clock works. In a group, ask them to design and build an early sundial clock and time it for accuracy.
Ask students to think about the following questions in their research:
What are the main components of a pendulum clock?
Why are the springs important?
What role does the pendulum have in keeping time?
In an era before electricity, what kept clocks running?
Ask students to draw the inside of a pendulum clock and label its major component parts. Students should also write a basic description about how a pendulum clocks works.
As an extension activity, ask students to reflect on the accuracy of clocks today in comparison to the clocks of Ben's era. Have students time the length of different simple activities, such as tying their shoelace, running a ten meter race, or standing up from a sitting position. Students should use a variety of timing devices, such as an egg timer, an analogue clock, and a digital watch.
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.
Inventions and electronic media,Language and scripting,Relationships
Turn off the volume and play the clip, Working together, to the class. This will allow students to study non-verbal language. Ask students to focus on how each character's thoughts and feelings are conveyed visually as a narrative device, rather than through words alone as they would be in a written text, and have them respond to the questions on Student Activity Sheet E16.5 It's non-verbal language. As a class, discuss how the filmmaker captures non-verbal language, including facial expression, gesture, stance and movement. Also ask students to note how set design, colour and light contribute to the mood and atmosphere to help create meanings.
View the clip again, this time with sound. Ask students to compare their original interpretations with what they now hear and see. Ask students to complete the Student Activity Sheet E16.5 It's non-verbal language recording the things that surprised them when they viewed the clip with sound.
As a class, discuss the relationship between the boys, Ben and Leck: what they are working on, the type of clock they are fixing, the reasons why the boys are working together, and how the boys feel when the clock works. Ask them to justify their ideas by referring to the clip. Ask students to focus on what the conversation between the two boys tells the audience? Ask them to consider: What does Leck think about Ben at this point? Ask students to use evidence from the clip to substantiate their views.
Sundials, water clocks, sand-glasses and candles have been used throughout history to tell the time. Challenge students to work in small groups to create a timeline from 1790-2010 that includes information about different ways to record time and when mechanical clocks began to be used, including the clock shown in the clip.
Ask students to find examples of clocks throughout history and the names of the people who invented them.
As a class, view the clip, Working together, and examine the clothes/costumes worn by the characters. Ask students to describe what each character is wearing and to discuss why they are dressed this way. Place students in groups of three or four and ask them to evaluate the suitability of the garments worn by each character. Ask them to focus particularly on those worn by the boys, for the task they are engaged in, and by the girls for outdoor play. Ask them to compare the designs of the outfits with clothing worn by children in Australia today.
Discuss with students some reasons why fashions change. Make a list of these for the students' reference.
During this process, ask each group to complete the Student Activity Sheet E16.6 Practical fashions to record students' contributions, related to:
What we Know
What we Want to know
What we Learned
How we Learned it.
Ask students to research the fashion styles of the 1850s using the internet to get ideas to help them design a costume for one of the characters in the clip. They can use Student Activity Sheet E16.6 Practical fashions to draft their design for the character's new set of clothes. Students should label the clothing they design to show how the new clothing will suit the character's personality and be more practical for the day-to-day activities of life in the 1850s. Have students present their designs to the class, giving examples from the film to explain how the design suits the character.
The following websites may be useful:
Australian History Research, Victorian Fashions,http://www.australianhistoryresearch.info/victorian-fashions/