I am learning to closely examine a character’s perspective so that I can make connections between my personal experiences and those of characters from different social and cultural contexts.
- I can identify the time and cultural context of a text.
- I can use a graphic organiser to analyse a character’s perspective.
- I can use my personal experience to connect to a character in a text.
Prior to reading the text, ask students to discuss what they as Australian citizens know about royalty and their main source of information about kings and queens. Answers may include movies, fairy stories and media’s portrayal of English royalty.
After reading The Royals are Crackers as a class, ask students to use clues from the text to identify the cultural and historical context. Students may notice that the celebration of Christmas suggests it’s a Western culture. They may also note that the threat of beheading suggests it’s set in the past, as that would be illegal now.
Explain that students will be looking more closely at the perspective of one of the characters mentioned in the text using the Step Inside graphic organiser (page two of the Jamboard copy provides a template for distributing to the class, as below – alternatively, give groups an A3 sheet of paper and have them divide it into quarters).
|What can the person/character/thing see, observe or notice?
|What might the person/character/thing know, understand, hold true or believe?
|What might the person/character/ thing care deeply about?
|What might the person/character/thing wonder about or question?
Students are to keep the cultural and historical context of the play in mind when filling out the four segments of the page. To scaffold, model the following answers for the court jester (let students contribute with their own answers as well). Encourage students to put themselves in the court jester’s shoes and imagine what he or she is thinking, feeling and seeing for the duration of the play.
- What might the character see/notice/observe?
The royal family celebrating Christmas, the princess crying, a collection of other employees trying to figure out the answer to the joke, Christmas crackers, the princess’s throne.
- What might the character know, understand, hold true or believe?
Believes in working hard to make the royal family laugh (he must be the best if he’s employed by the royal family), knows he’ll be beheaded if he doesn’t figure out the answer to the joke, understands very little (or at least pretends to in order to act as a fool)
- What might the character care deeply about?
Telling jokes, keeping his job, not being beheaded, Christmas, the royal family, impressive athletics like cartwheels.
- What might the character wonder about or question?
What will I get for Christmas? Will the Queen order my beheading today? What sort of jokes will I tell today? Have I practised my cartwheels enough?
Assessment as learning:
Give students copies of the template or have them quarter an A3 sheet of paper to come up with their own answers for a different character from the play. When complete, allow students the opportunity to share their answers with the class. Have them fill in any details they think of while listening to other answers.