Mr Wong's Emporium

[Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

Evelyn, Edward and Freddie try to replace the fireworks. They visit Mr Wong's emporium to buy a replacement box but find they can't afford it. They then try to obtain some gunpowder in an attempt to make their own fireworks.


English

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 [3]

Activity 1: The 'No. 5' assortment
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Subtheme(s): Customs and traditions
  • Evelyn and her family are excited by the prospect of being the owners of the Mr Wong's 'No. 5' assortment of fireworks. It is the best available and is expensive.
Discover
  • View the clip and observe the box construction and the designs on the outside. Also look at the designs of the fireworks. As a class work out how many fireworks are in the box. What varieties are included? What type of effects would each firework produce when lit? Consider what instructions would be needed to inform people of the dangers involved and the safe procedures for lighting the fireworks. Ask the class to estimate the cost of the box and its contents.

Reflect
  • Ask students to design their own box of fireworks based on Mr Wong's 'No. 5' assortment. They need to design the box itself; a label and instructions for the outside; and include images to decorate the outside of the box. They could also design two or three fireworks that are to be placed in the box. Each should have a different design drawn around it to denote the type of firework it is.

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Activity 2: Non-verbal communication
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Subtheme(s): Relationships
Discover
  • As a class view carefully, without sound, the scene where Evelyn tries to pay for the box of fireworks. Examine how the filmmaker uses visual clues to tell the audience what is happening.
  • Focus students' attention on the actors' body language and gestures; the use of camera shots and camera angles; and the way link shots connect ideas and establish relationships between the characters. Why does Evelyn rearrange the coins? What does Mr Wong think she is doing? How do we know?

Reflect
  • Give students a blank storyboard and have them note each of the camera shots used in the exchange between Evelyn and Mr Wong.
  • Watch the scene from where Mr Wong puts the box onto the counter up until where the children turn to leave the shop. As a class, discuss the information recorded in the storyboards and create a class list of camera shots used. Replay the scene to allow students to focus again on the types of shots used and how they influence the viewer.

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Activity 3: Making meaning
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Subtheme(s): Relationships
Discover
  • Have students work in pairs to script a dramatic silent exchange between two characters, using body language and gesture to convey the story. Ask them to consider carefully how they will draw audience attention to the important events and interactions in the scene. Have students present their silent scene to the class. Encourage students to give specific and constructive feedback to each other about the effectiveness of their scenes.

Reflect
  • Ask students to use a storyboard template to create a wordless comic strip version of the same scene, this time including specific camera shots that will draw attention to the important moments in the exchange. They must decide which character or objects they will show in close-up and why. How will the action between the characters convey the intended message to the audience? The completed storyboards can be made into a class book to share for a viewing activity.

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