Milking time

[Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

Sam enters Mr Owen's house through a hole in the roof, and is amazed when he sees his reflection for the first time. After failing to milk the goat, Sam has a difficult night's sleep on his new bed. He uses his ingenuity to dig hard ground.


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 [2]

Activity 1: Living conditions
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Subtheme(s): Chores, business and employment; Language and scripting; Social order and education
  • As a class view the clip Milking time and ask students to discuss Sam's living conditions. Point out that his 'bed' is a pile of straw on a dirt floor, his 'room' is an open barn and that he only has one set of clothes.
  • When Sam climbs through the hole in the roof, he gets to see inside Mr Owen's house for the first time, which is very different from the barn that Sam sleeps in. Ask students to focus their attention on the far superior living conditions that Mr Owen has in his house. Students could answer the following questions:
  1. How do Sam's bedding and living conditions compare with Mr Owen's?
  2. What did Sam say that shows he is impressed with Mr Owen's bedding?
  3. What is Mr Owen's bedding made from?
  4. Describe the contents of Mr Owen's house. (Look at the view when the camera pans around the interior of the house.)
  5. Explain Sam's reaction to seeing himself in the mirror. Why would he react like this?
  • Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E22.3 Living conditions.
  • Have students write a paragraph describing Sam's living conditions and comparing them with those of Mr Owen. The description should be from Sam's point of view.

  • Ask students to imagine their dream house. Have them create a real estate flyer which outlines all the features that their dream house contains. The flyer should contain two or three drawings or images of the rooms of the house, as well as a floor plan. The flyer should use descriptive and persuasive language to encourage someone to buy the house. Students can consult real estate websites to obtain a template for the flyer.


Activity 2: Food for thought
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Subtheme(s): Food; Relationships; Social order and education
  • In the clip Milking time, Mr Owen says Sam's diet for the week will consist of 'goat's milk and flour'. Ask students to discuss if this diet would be considered healthy and balanced eating today. Ask them to identify what food groups are missing from Sam's diet.
  • The following websites may be useful:
  1. Better Health Channel, 'Healthy Eating for Kids',
  2. Healthy Eating Club, 'The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating'
  • Have students compare Sam's diet to their own. Use a Venn diagram to compare the similarities and differences.
  • Ask students what they think Sam should be eating and what his limited diet may do to his health. Students can research the effects of Sam's diet and write a short article in which they either promote healthy eating, or show the links between a vitamin-poor diet and such conditions as scurvy.

  • As a class, look at recipe books and draw the students' attention to the particular style of writing used for the listing of ingredients and measurements. The instructions are always in the imperative tense. Explain that recipes are a specific text type that uses a particular kind of technical writing.
  • Ask students to find a recipe for damper. They are to write instructions for making it, keeping in mind the limited technology and availability of ingredients in 1798. Use the correct recipe-writing style. A fun idea would be for students to create, prepare and cook their own damper so that they can develop their own set of measurements and instructions.


Student Activity Sheet E22.4: Food for thought

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