Tag Archives: Play

Dramatising Australian Stories

12 Jul

I am hoping to study Sally Mackenzie’s Scattered Lives with one of my junior classes next term.  Her play explores a range of migrant experiences.

As part of this unit I also want to show my students Africa to Australia, an interactive website exploring the experiences of African Australians.   I want my students to select one of the stories presented and re-imagine it as an additional act in Scattered Lives.  Through this activity, students will be able to broaden their understanding of the Australian experience while also demonstrating their knowledge of dramatic conventions.


Representations of Youth

31 Jul

I am always interested in new ways of engaging my students in Shakespearean texts.  I am also always interested in new ways of teaching these texts.

This year, extending an idea raised by a colleague, my students studied Romeo & Juliet through the lens of representations of youth.  We engaged with key scenes, sought to identify how youth were portrayed and to understand how these representations were constructed.

I began the unit by showing students a number of trailers for Romeo & Juliet appropriations.  For each trailer, students had to identify and account for the characteristics of youth, explain which representations had continued resonance, and explain why particular representations frustrated/angered them.  They also had to identify and explain continuity and change in terms of representation across the trailers.

I found this to be an interesting way of understanding the depth and detail of students’ thought processes.  Some students, for example, saw only the demonstration of romantic passion and suggested it was not an accurate representation of youth today as young people do not fall in love so quickly today.  Others however, looked at romantic passion and saw, instead, young people’s abilities to throw themselves into projects with enthusiasm and commitment, often in service of causes they believe in.  For these students, the representation of passion was then both accurate and as relevant in Romeo and Juliet as in contemporary society.

Pairs of texts

31 Mar

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about interesting textual pairings for study as part of a comparative unit.  Many of my ideas are not suitable for my school context or the ability levels of my classes.  However, I do think that, in the right contexts and with the right classes, all could form the basis of interesting and engaging units.

  1. A Lesson Before Dying (novel) & To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
  2. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Freedom Writers (film)
  3. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Girl At War (novel)
  4. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  5. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Schindler’s List (film)
  6. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  7. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & The Devil That Danced on Water (non-fiction)
  8. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)
  9. Americanah (novel) & selected episodes of Black-ish (television series)
  10. A Monster Calls (novel) & Boy (film)
  11. A Monster Calls (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  12. A Monster Calls (novel/film) & Frankenstein (novel)
  13. And Then There Were None (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  14. Animal Farm (novel) & Selection of episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  15. Anzac Girls (television series) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  16. Bad Feminist (collection of essays) & For Colored Girls (film)
  17. Bad Feminist (collection of essays) & When I Hit You (novel)
  18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  19. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Dreamer (novel)
  20. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Kite Runner (film or graphic novel)
  21. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  22. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & Boy (film)
  23. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel)
  24. Beloved (novel) & Dracula (novel)
  25. Beloved (novel) & Frankenstein (novel)
  26. Beloved (novel) & Icarus Girl (novel)
  27. Beloved (novel) & Uncle Tom’s Cabin (novel)
  28. Beloved (novel) & Unconfessed (novel)
  29. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Americanah (novel)
  30. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Selected short stories of Chinua Achebe (short stories)
  31. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Desdemona (play)
  32. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & God Help the Child (novel)
  33. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Kissing the Witch (novel)
  34. Brave New World (novel) & The Crucible (play)
  35. Brave New World (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  36. Brave New World (novel) & V for Vendetta (film)
  37. Briar Rose (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  38. Briar Rose (novel) & Lion (film)
  39. Briar Rose (novel) & Night (autobiography)
  40. Briar Rose (novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  41. Deadline (novel) & Dead Poets Society (film)
  42. Deadline (novel) & The Fault In Our Stars (film)
  43. Deadline (novel) & The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (film)
  44. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  45. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  46. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Invictus (film)
  47. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Remember the Titans (films)
  48. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  49. El Deafo (graphic novel) & The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel)
  50. Etiquette and Espionage (novel) & Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (film)
  51. Exit West (novel) & Romeo and Juliet (play)
  52. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  53. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  54. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & After the Storm (film)
  55. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & 11’09’01 (collection of short films)
  56. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & Lion (film)
  57. Face (novel) & The Intouchables (film)
  58. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & Persepolis (graphic novel or film)
  59. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & V For Vendetta (film)
  60. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf (choreopoem) & When I Hit You (novel)
  61. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf (choreopoem) & Mustang (film)
  62. Frankenstein (novel) & Boy, Snow, Bird (novel)
  63. Frankenstein (novel) & Frankenweenie (film)
  64. Frankenstein (novel) & The Iron Giant (film)
  65. Frankenstein (novel) & Metropolis (film)
  66. Frankenstein (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  67. Frankenstein (novel) & The Rocky Horror Picture Show (film)
  68. Frankenstein (novel) & The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel)
  69. Girl Rising (film) & Poetry of Maya Angelou (poetry)
  70. Girl Rising (film) & When I Hit You (novel)
  71. Hamlet (play) & A Monster Calls (novel/film)
  72. Hamlet (play) & Nutshell (novel)
  73. Hamlet (play) & The Lion King (film)
  74. Hiroshima (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  75. Jasper Jones  (novel) & The Help (film)
  76. Jasper Jones (novel) & To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
  77. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  78. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television show)
  79. King Richard II (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  80. Life of Pi (novel) & Castaway (film)
  81. Lord of the Flies (novel) & Where the Wild Things Are (film)
  82. Lord of the Flies (novel) & The Hunger Games (film)
  83. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Designated Survivor (television series)
  84. Macbeth (play) & The Dressmaker (film)
  85. Macbeth (play) & The Gods of Wheat Street (television series)
  86. Macbeth (play) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel, novel or film)
  87. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  88. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television series)
  89. Maus (graphic novel) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  90. Maus (graphic novel) & Night (autobiography)
  91. Maus (graphic novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  92. March (novel) & Little Wome(novel)
  93. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (novel) & The Fault in Our Stars (film)
  94. Night (autobiography) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  95. Night (autobiography) & Beatrice and Virgil (novel)
  96. Night (autobiography) & Girl At War (novel)
  97. Night (autobiography) & Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography)
  98. Night (autobiography) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  99. Night (autobiography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  100. Night (autobiography) & The Seven Stages of Grieving (play)
  101. Nona and Me (novel) & Looking for Alibrandi (film)
  102. Nona and Me (novel) & September (film)
  103. Of Mice and Men (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  104. Othello (play) & Boy Snow Bird (novel)
  105. Othello (play) & Desdemona (play)
  106. Othello (play) & Gone Girl (film)
  107. Othello (play) & Jasper Jones (novel)
  108. Othello (play) & New Boy (novel)
  109. Othello (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  110. Othello (play) & V For Vendetta (film)
  111. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Girl At War (novel)
  112. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  113. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Lion (film)
  114. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Maus (graphic novel)
  115. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Night (autobiography)
  116. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  117. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bride and Prejudice (film)
  118. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bridget Jones’s Diary (film)
  119. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Mustang (film)
  120. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & The Wedding Plan (film)
  121. Refugee Boy (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  122. Refugee Boy (novel) & The African Doctor (film)
  123. Refugee Boy (novel) & The Arrival (picture book)
  124. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Alex and Eve (film)
  125. Romeo & Juliet (play) & A United Kingdom (film)
  126. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  127. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Hairspray (film)
  128. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Meet the Patels (film)
  129. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Mustang (film)
  130. Romeo & Juliet (play) & My Big Fat Greek Wedding (film)
  131. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Tanna (film)
  132. Romeo & Juliet (play) & The Fault in Our Stars (film or novel)
  133. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Titanic (film)
  134. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Viceroy’s House (film)
  135. Romeo & Juliet (play) & West Side Story (film)
  136. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television show)
  137. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Green Bicycle (novel)
  138. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Kite Runner (novel or graphic novel)
  139. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Wadjda (film)
  140. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  141. Scattered Lives (play) & Americannah (novel)
  142. Scattered Lives (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  143. Scattered Lives (play) & Looking for Alibrandi (novel)
  144. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Peter Skrzynecki (poetry)
  145. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  146. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  147. Schindler’s Ark (novel) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  148. Speak (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  149. Speak (novel) & The Lovely Bones (novel)
  150. Speak (novel) & The Scarlet Letter (novel)
  151. Speak (novel) & When I Hit You (novel)
  152. Stargirl (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  153. Station Eleven (novel) & A Midsummer Night’s Dream (play)
  154. Station Eleven (novel) & Hag-Seed (novel)
  155. Station Eleven (novel) & Never Let Me Go (novel or film)
  156. Station Eleven (novel) & The Tempest (play)
  157. Stolen (play) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  158. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  159. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (memoir) & Queen of Katwe (film)
  160. The Color Purple (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  161. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  162. The Dreamer (novel) & Billy Elliot (film)
  163. The Drover’s Wife (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  164. The First Third (novel) & Boy (film)
  165. The Fault in Our Stars (novel) & Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (film)
  166. The Handmaid’s Tale (novel/television series) & Never Let me Go (novel/film)
  167. The Help (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  168. The Help (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  169. The Help (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  170. The Outsiders (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  171. The Outsiders (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  172. The Outsiders (novel) & Yolngu Boy (film)
  173. The Rabbits (picture book) & Deadly, Unna? (novel)
  174. The Rabbits (picture book) & Poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal (poetry)
  175. The Rabbits (picture book) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  176. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  177. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & And Then There Were None (novel)
  178. The Scarlet Letter (novel) & Easy A (film)
  179. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & The Real Inspector Hound (play)
  180. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  181. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel) & The Drover’s Wife (play)
  182. The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  183. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (novel) & Hamlet (play or film)
  184. The Kite Runner (novel) & Big Fish (film)
  185. The Kite Runner (novel) & Boy (film)
  186. The Queue (novel) & Animal Farm (novel)
  187. The Queue (novel) & Brave New World (novel)
  188. The Queue (novel) & Fahrenheit 451 (novel/film)
  189. The Queue (novel) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (novel)
  190. The Queue (novel) & Persepolis (film/graphic novel)
  191. ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (short story) & Icarus Girl (novel)
  192. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  193. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  194. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Poetry of Langston Hughes (poetry)
  195. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Jasper Jones (novel)
  196. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  197. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  198. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  199. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Help (film)
  200. To This Day (graphic novel) & Wonder (novel)
  201. To This Day (graphic novel) & Face (novel)
  202. Vernon God Little (novel) & Elephant (film)
  203. Vinegar Girl (novel) & The Taming of the Shrew (play)
  204. Vinegar Girl (novel) & 10 Things I Hate About You (film)
  205. Voices from Chernobyl (non-fiction) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  206. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  207. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)

Scattered Lives

23 May

I recently came across a play entitled Scattered Lives by Sally McKenzie.  The play presents the stories of refugees who seek refuge in Australia, and explores the reasons and circumstances which cause people to flee their homes and settle in Australia.

The play is written in simple and clear language which makes it particularly suitable for a lower ability class, and it would allow students to get their heads around dramatic techniques without being confused by overly complex story lines.

Ideally, I would like to teach this play to a lower ability Year 10 class.  In this imagined world, this text would be the focal point of the unit, with selected pieces of related material chosen to illuminate ideas and reinforce the idea that texts are studied in connection with others.

However, as this is a text that is not one we currently have at school, I think I would likely be forced to select just one scene or story and incorporate it into a different unit.  In this sense, the extract from Scattered Lives would become related material.  While this would reduce students’ access to a rich text, it is not necessarily a bad thing.  Indeed, I could see an extract being a valuable addition to my unit entitled ‘Visions of Australia‘.