[Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

Wal visits Jen's mother to take her to the pictures in his new FJ Holden. Jen is unaware of the affections between her mother and Wal. When Wal gives Jen's mother a kiss goodnight, Jen becomes suspicious.


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 first Holden
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Subtheme(s): Relationships; Transport
  • As a class, discuss the role of the Holden car in this clip using the guiding questions below.
  1. What is the viewers' attention drawn to?
  2. What do viewers notice? Why?
  3. Do you think the car is important in this clip?
  4. Why or why not?
  5. How does the filmmaker ensure it is the salient object in the scene?
  6. What do you think the car symbolises?
  • Discuss what information the car provides to the audience about its owner, the character Wal. Ask students to consider what the car informs the audience about Wal? Discuss the cost of cars and their rarity in these years when times were very tough for many people including Jen's family. Explain that Wal must be well off to have one of these new cars so quickly.
  • Focus attention on what information about the car itself is shown in the clip, and then look at what other background information might help. Share and discuss the following extract from the My Place production notes below.
  • 29 November, 1948: Ben Chifley unveils the first Holden, the 48-215 or FX Holden. It came in only four colours: Convoy Grey, Seine Blue, Gawler Cream or Black. Production rate was 10 [cars] a week. Cost, in dollars, was $1,466, or 94 times the average weekly wage of $15.60.
  • Ask students research this early Holden car in the library and online to find out more information.

  • Ask students to work in small groups to design an advertising program for this car. They need to identify the car's best features to promote it. Explore the range of different advertisements, including print and radio, before setting students on the following tasks to apply their information.
  • Ask students to design and create a print advertisement for the FX Holden using text and images to sell its features.
  • Additionally, students can design and make a radio advertisement to sell the features of the car using sound only. What will the voice-over say? What sound effects will be important?


Activity 2: Relationships and feelings
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Subtheme(s): Relationships
  • Focus student's attention on the relationships between the key characters in this scene where Jen meets Wal for the first time. Who is Wal and how does the filmmaker introduce him to the story? Review the clip and ask students to pay close attention to the first interaction between Jen and Wal. Here, Wal tells Jen that the time is 'A freckle past a hair.' Discuss the meaning of this saying with students. Have they heard it before? What does it mean? Discuss what this exchange tells the audience about Wal. What does Jen think about Wal at this point? Ask students to explain how they know this and ask them to use evidence from the clip to substantiate their views.
  • Follow this up by examining how Jen's feelings about Wal change once she realises her mother is going out with him? List the clues the filmmaker gives, such as her pouting face and body language.

  • Have students take on the character of Jen and write a diary entry to explain her feelings about her mother and what she thinks of her mother's relationship with Wal.


Activity 3: The wireless
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Subtheme(s): Entertainment and games; Inventions and electronic media
  • As a class, discuss the role and importance of the radio, or wireless as it was then called. Why is it included in the clip? What information does it add to the story?
  • Discuss the radio play included in this clip. Make a list of information about the type of play and the topic. For example, the program is called: When a girl marries – dedicated to those who are in love. Discuss what the purpose of this play could be, its intended audience, and its contribution to the story. Why did the filmmaker use this play and not something else like the horse racing or the news?
  • Introduce the term 'juxtaposition' to the class and ask students to find a definition for the word. Examine how the filmmaker juxtaposed the radio play with Jen's mother, Kath, and her relationship with Wal. What extra information does it add to the story?
  • Introduce or revisit the concept of foreshadowing in filmmaking and narrative writing and think about the name and subject of the radio play in this context. What is it flagging to the viewer and to Jen? For more detailed information about foreshadowing, see Activity 4: Foreshadowing in Episode 13: 1888: Victoria (English).

  • Have students design a radio play and voice-over to juxtapose a different scenario in this scene, which foreshadows a different outcome from Jen's perspective. Ask students to consider what they think Jen would like to happen?


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