Can dreams come true?
3 September 2009Add to My Folder
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Karen Hart’s thought-provoking play script is about a modern-day family with money troubles. Ben and Lucy’s family have serious money problems. The children try to sell things to passers-by, meanwhile dreaming of the life they would like to have.
Ben and Lucy come from a single parent family. But their father is down on his luck and they have serious money problems. Just as they seem to be reaching rock-bottom, an aunt comes along to offer them a helping hand.
Briefly explain that family problems and worries can often relate to money and how to manage it – which can be stressful if there isn’t really enough income for all the family’s needs and expenses – and that this play explores these issues.
- Sort the children into groups of eight and allocate roles. Encourage each child to read ahead, silently practising their own parts, before the group reads the whole script aloud together.
- List adjectives and adverbs that offer direction as to tone of voice, pace and volume of speech, and expression (excitedly, disappointed, and so on).
- Suggest that the children mime actions – such as passing the scarf and holding up imaginary goods – as they read the text. Explain that professional radio actors do this when performing plays, even though the listeners cannot see them. Discuss how this helps readers to put feeling into their words.
- Highlight ellipses and demonstrate how this requires a pause – eg, when Ben is reading the label.
- Discuss what it means to be part of a family, caring for each other, looking after each other, pulling together. Does it matter if the family is not traditional, as long as the family members share and care? Find examples of this attitude in Ben and Lucy’s family. (Giving up a scarf to someone colder and younger; trying to help solve a family problem; thinking of other less fortunate family members.)
- Compare how the words and actions of the two shoppers reflect their different attitudes and opinions.
- Talk about Ben’s question to Dad about how he would spend a million pounds. Who answers the question first? What does this suggest about the question and answer? (Perhaps it shows how often Lucy has thought about the same question and the fact that her birthday is approaching.)
- List each character and describe briefly how they might be dressed.
- Invite groups to choose one of the imaginary scenes to act out and choreograph a freeze-frame.
See the Using this issue chart “here” to identify the Learning Objectives covered by these activities, to track progression from Year 2 through to Year 5, and to identify links with Year 3 and 4 Literacy Planning Units.
Speaking and listening
- Share the character costume suggestions and discuss what clothes can reveal about a character and their circumstances. Ask children to explain why they imagined the outfits they’ve described with reference to the text. Invite corroboration or disagreement from others.
- Hear groups perform their scripts as if for radio. Invite feedback from the audience.
Ideas for writing
- Write a few paragraphs on how you would spend £1 million, explaining why.
- Working in twos or threes, improvise in role, and then write, a short script in which the characters are all members of the same family. Decide on a problem and show how the different family members plan to help. Brainstorm situations, such as: A family member loses some money – was it dropped down a drain? Stolen? Blown away? What will their family do to help? The family holiday is cancelled at the last minute as they cannot afford the fare – how will they cheer each other up?
- In role as either Ben or Lucy, write a letter or email to an old city school friend describing your new life in the country.
Using the activity sheet activity sheet
Imagine what it would be like for Ben and Lucy to change suddenly from living in a city to living in the country. Use the activity sheet below to plan a script to show the scene during the first few hours of the children’s arrival at their new cottage and their explorations indoors or out.