Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Children's games

[Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

Victoria and her siblings are playing 'blind man's bluff' at the tree. She finds a marble which is claimed by her neighbour, Alexandra Owen, who lives in the big house. Victoria's family is building a new house but that is no match for Alexandra's family who have lived in this place for a long time.


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: Games and rules
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Subtheme(s): Art, music and literature; Chores, business and employment
  • In this clip we find Victoria, Wesley and May playing a favourite children's game, blind man's bluff (or buff). Some children's games have been played for centuries. Swings were played on from 1600 BC and jacks or 'knucklebones' date back to Ancient Greece. Both blind man's bluff and chasey date back 2,000 years. 'Oranges and lemons' was a political parody in medieval England.
  • To explore further, go to:
  1. Chest of Books, 'How Children's Games Originate', http://chestofbooks.com/food/household/Woman-Encyclopaedia-2/How-Children-s-Games-Originate.html
  2. Kids Spot, 'Blind Man's Bluff', http://www.kidspot.com.au/kids-activities/Blind-Mans-Bluff+3823.htm
  3. Wikipedia, 'Blind man's bluff (game)', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_man's_bluff_(game)
  4. Wikipedia, 'Oranges and lemons', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranges_and_Lemons

  • Brainstorm the names of games that children play today. List these on a chart. Ask students to nominate if the game is historical/ traditional, or developed in recent times and explain why they think so. Have students select two of these games and ask them to write what they think are the rules of the games. The list of games could include: red rover, marbles, hopscotch, blind man's bluff, skipping, leapfrog, tiddlywinks. Games can also be categorised as physical, board, card or electronic.
  • Once the students have written down the rules of their selected games, pair them up to compare with others who selected the same game. Ask them to share and negotiate the correct and accepted rules of the games. Students may then realise that each person can have a different idea about the process and outcome for winning the game.
  • Individually, or in pairs, students should design and construct their own game. They will need to think about the title, rules, process, equipment and goal. They could use Student Activity Sheet E13.1 to guide their thinking. Once they have designed the game, they can invite other members of the class to play it.


Activity 2: Class structures
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Subtheme(s): Relationships; Social order and education
  • In the clip, Wesley accuses Victoria of being intimidated by Alexandra Owen. The appearance of Alexandra causes the group to stop and address her and eventually give in to her request for the marble. Alexandra speaks to the group from a position of dominance and power.
  • Read the part of the My Place script that documents the meeting of Victoria and her siblings with Alexandra Owen and her sister, Emma. Ask students to take note of how Alexandra speaks. Ask them to identify what she says to indicate that she has a higher social status than Victoria. She is what would be commonly termed 'gentry'. Ask students to research why class distinctions were so accepted in this era in Australian history. What were the characteristics of being classified as gentry in Australian society? Ask them to think about Australian society today and ask if they feel there is still this class distinction.

  • Individually, or in pairs, ask students to imagine that they are a real estate agent commissioned to sell Alexandra Owen's house. They are to design an advertisement for the local newspaper that would entice people to buy the property. The layout should include text and images. They can then design a second advertisement for the sale of Victoria's house. Ask students to consider how different the two advertisements would be.


Activity 3: Relationships with the land
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Subtheme(s): Indigenous perspectives
  • This episode does not develop the story of the Indigenous girl. Why? What role does she play in this story? Why does the filmmaker show only a glimpse of the girl and not allow her to speak? What message does that convey? How does this role or reference relate to the original picture storybook, My Place, by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins?

  • Compare the different perspectives of the land between Alexandra in the clip and Barangaroo in the picture book. In the clip, Alexandra says:


Well I live over there. In the big house.

She gestures grandly behind her.


It's completely finished because we Owens have always lived here. So that means this is our land and our tree and you don't belong here. And that –

She points at the marble in Victoria's hand.


Belongs to me.

From the third draft of the script for Episode 13: 1888: Victoria

At the end of the picture book, Barangaroo says:

My grandmother says, 'We've always belonged to this place.'

'But for how long?' I ask. 'And how far?'

My grandmother says, 'Forever and ever.'

From My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins

  • Reflect on Barangaroo's perspective of always belonging to this place. What does that mean? Compare how Alexandra describes her place.


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