A Greek garden

[Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

Michaelis and his father are working in their garden when Janis reminds Michaelis that it is time for The Adventures of Robin Hood on TV. When his mother comes to congratulate her husband and son on their work in the garden, she realises that the baby is coming.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [2]

Activity 1: An Aussie oasis
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Subtheme(s): Art, music and literature; Culture; Customs and traditions

Michaelis's father proudly shows off his backyard with homegrown fruits and vegetables. During this era it was a vital way to survive in a new environment where some of the ingredients used in traditional meals were not available, or were difficult to find.

  • Ask students to consider the importance of the family garden in episode six. Encourage students to brainstorm ideas on the importance of a self-sufficient garden.
  • Create a PMI chart with the class on self-sufficient gardening:
  1. P= Plus: What are the positives in having a self-sufficient home garden?
  2. M= Minus: What are the negatives associated with this type of garden?
  3. I= Interesting: What are the interesting elements of a self-sufficient garden?
  • For more inspiration, search for information on self-sufficient gardens. You could also watch some episodes of Costa's Garden Odyssey that have been screened on SBS television.

  • Ask students to research recipes from Greece. Each student should find one recipe for an entrée or starter, one for a main meal and one for a dessert. Once they have the recipes together they can combine them all to make their class recipe book. As a class, celebrate Greek Independence Day (25 March) by having students cook Greek food and bring it to school to share.
  • Alternatively, students are encouraged to ask family members about their own traditional recipes. They could investigate the ingredients to see what food groups each represents and complete a chart of these. Students can source images of the food, ingredients and recipes for the chart. Once they have at least two recipes each, they can combine them all to make their own recipe book. Students can choose one recipe from their mini-cookbook and make the meal with a family member at home. Foods can be brought into school and celebrated as part of a multicultural food day.
  • Some useful recipe websites include:
  1. Taste.com.au, http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/greek+recipes
  2. Dairy Australia, http://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/recipes
  3. The Heart Foundation, http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/recipes
  4. Jamie Oliver, http://www.jamieoliver.com


Activity 2: Gardening
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment; Culture; Customs and traditions

Michaelis is with his father in their backyard gardening when his mother comes to the garden to admire their work. It was an expectation for children of this era to work as their parents directed. Gardening was just one chore that Michaelis would be expected to complete.

  • As a class, discuss the type of chores Michaelis would be expected to complete around the house. List these and compare them to the chores of other characters in other episodes, such as Victoria, Rowley, Evelyn, Bertie, Bridie and Colum. Ask students to consider how Michaelis would be expected to behave as a child in a Greek family. Compare these expectations to students' lives today.

  • Ask students to write a diary entry for a day in the life of Michaelis and explain how they believe he feels about the events in his life. Share these stories with the rest of the class.


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