Comprehension and Discussion Activities for the … / comprehension-and-discussion-activities-for-the.pdf / PDF4PRO (2023)

1 Comprehension and Discussion Activities for the Movie rabbit - proof fence This module has been designed to accompany the film rabbit - proof fence (2002). rabbit - proof fence tells the true story of three Aboriginal Australian girls Molly, her sister Daisy and their cousin, Gracie. It is based on the book Follow the rabbit - proof fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara, Molly s daughter. When Molly was 14, Gracie 10 and Daisy 8, the Australian government took them from their home to train them as servants for the white settlers. The girls decided to escape and walk home, following the rabbit - proof fence . This film follows the girls 1,500 mile walk home, avoiding capture and surviving in the wild.

2 It also tells the larger story of Australia s Stolen Generations thousands of Aboriginal children who were taken from their homes by the government. Many of these children never saw their parents again. This module consists of teacher s notes and handouts to copy and give to your students. If you don t have access to a copier, write the exercises on the board. You might like to do some of these Activities in students first language. It is important that they understand the ideas behind the story, and this is easier in their own language. Teacher s Notes 1. Before You Watch : Australia past and present Give copies of Worksheet 1: Background Information to your students, or put the worksheets where all students can see them.

3 Exercise A: Look at the map of Australia and the images of modern Australia. 1. Students match the pictures with the captions. 2. Brainstorm about Australia. Who lives there? What is the environment like? Write students ideas on the board. Exercise B: Look at the images of historical Australia. 1. Students match the pictures with the captions. 2. What do they think life was like for Aboriginal people? Write students ideas on the board. Exercise C: Useful vocabulary. 1. Students read through the vocabulary and definitions, and answer the questions. Discuss the words that they don t understand. Answers to Exercise C: 1. F - Half-caste was the name used for someone who was of mixed Aboriginal and European heritage. This term is no longer acceptable in Australia and most Aboriginal Australians would be offended by its use.

4 2. T 3. T 4. F - Indigenous people are the first, or original, people living in a given place. 5. F - A racist believes that his/her race is better than others. 2. While You Watch : Home in Jigalong and the Aborigines Act Give copies of Worksheet 2: While You Watch to your students, or write the questions on the board. Play the film to 07:00. Answers to Exercise A: 1. Molly and Daisy are sisters and Gracie is their cousin. 2. The Jigalong tribe is a desert people. 3. The Australian government gives the Jigalong tribe rations including flour, tobacco and tea. 4. Molly s mother tells her that the spirit bird will always look after her. 5. Neville is the legal guardian of all Aboriginals in Western Australia and he has the power to remove any Aboriginal child from their home.

5 His office is in Perth. Teacher s Notes Exercise B: 1. They are following the tracks of a giant lizard until Molly catches it. This shows the community s lifestyle of hunting and gathering, and of interacting closely with each other and the earth. It also shows the girls skill in the outdoors, particularly Molly s. 2. The girls fathers are all white men who used to work on the fence . They have moved on . 3. Because the policemen are looking for half-caste children so they can take them away. 4. To marry, visit their children at Moore River, and buy shoes. : Capture and Moore River Native Settlement 07:00 27:50 Play the film to 27:50. If the students don t have Worksheet 2, write the exercises on the board. Answers to Exercise A: 1. T 2. T 3. F - The girls go to Moore River by train, inside a large cage/holding cell and then in the back of a truck.

6 4. F - They were trained to be house help and/or farm labour for white Australians. 5. F - There are very young babies who have been separated from their birth mothers at Moore River. 6. F - Children with the lightest skin were separated and sent to a proper school . Exercise B: 1. Some of the rules include: standing and sitting when told to, eating with Western utensils (forks, spoons and knives), not speaking while eating, saying Christian prayers and only speaking English/not speaking their native languages. 2. Modoo is the tracker and he is Aboriginal. It is his responsibility to find any child who runs away from Moore River. His daughter, Olive, lives at Moore River. Exercise C: 3. Neville s plan was to take all light-skinned Aboriginal children (those believed to have a European parent or grandparent) and forcibly assimilate them into white society, either through adoption or by training them to work as house servants and farm labour.

7 Neville said he wanted to give these half-caste children the benefits of white society. 4. Neville believed that his plan would allow half-caste children to become white so that there was no longer an unwanted third race . Neville believed that in three generations the black colour would not exist anymore. 5. In his opinion, the Aboriginal people were not wise enough to know what was best for them and that he and other Europeans knew better. He felt responsible for saving mixed-race children by giving them the benefits of white culture and society. Teacher s Notes : Escape 27:50 47:00 Play the film to 47:00. If students don t have Worksheet 2, write the exercises on the board. Answers to Exercise A: 1. Daisy 2. Neville 3. the woman from the house 4.

8 Gracie 5. the hunter 6. Molly Exercise B: 1. The girls have an opportunity to escape when it is Molly s turn to empty the toilet bucket and everyone else has gone to church. Molly tells her sister and cousin to run. 2. Molly, Gracie and Daisy stay hidden from the tracker by doing things such as: Taking off their shoes while running Using the rain to cover their tracks Putting Daisy s bag in the river Staying silent and always listening Hiding in the bush : Following the rabbit proof fence 47:00 :21 Play the film to If students don t have Worksheet 2, write the exercises on the board. Answers to Exercise A: 1. Modoo 2. Gracie 3. Mavis 4. Daisy 5. Neville Exercise B: 1. Neville sets a trap for the girls in two ways. First, he stations the men along the fence to wait for the girls, believing they will walk into the area where the men are waiting.

9 Second, he tells everyone to spread the word that Gracie s mother is waiting for her in Wiluna and that the girls can take a train there. Neville wants the girls to hear this and come to Wiluna, where it will be easier to catch them. 2. Gracie turns around to run away from Molly and Daisy so that they will not get caught. The film does not tell us what happens to her after she gets caught. Ask students for suggestions. From the book, we know that she was sent back to Moore River and then worked on farms and in the city as domestic help. 3. Perhaps Modoo works at Moore River so that he can see his daughter, Olive. Maybe being a tracker is a good job. He might not have a choice, and maybe he thinks he can help the children in small ways by staying there. Modoo seems sympathetic to Molly, Gracie and Daisy.

10 He respects them for not getting caught and he smiles when the policeman he is with gives up and stops waiting for the girls. It is not clear if Modoo could have caught the girls if he had wanted to - what do your students think? 4. Mavis is another Stolen Generations girl who is working as domestic help for a white family. She helps the girls by giving them food and a place to stay. Her life is difficult because she has to do what the white family tells her to do. She is also abused by the man of the house. Teacher s Notes : Return :21 end Play the film to the end. If students don t have Worksheet 2, write the exercises on the board. Answers to Exercise A: 1. They see the spirit bird. This is important because it symbolises home and is meant to always lead them where they need to go.

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