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The Response Phase - How a class responded to the words - Fatal Shore

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The Response Phase Fatal Shore The play of 'The Fatal Shore' was introduced to us with just the word put up onto an overhead projector. The class brainstormed their ideas of what they thought this meant, people came up with words such as death, sea, and sand, this was effective as it brought our imaginations into the work and everybody got a chance to listen to other people and adapt on their own ideas. When we had all thought up our ideas we were told what 'Fatal Shore' was actually all about, that it was brought about in Georgian England and that criminals were transported to spend the duration of their punishment away from England. We were given an example of a man, aged 20 years, who had stolen a silk bonnet and other goods, for this, his sentence was either hanging or transportation for 7 years. This was shocking to the class and it stuck in our minds, one pupil said that they couldn't believe they got sent away, for so long, for committing such minor crimes. ...read more.


shoulder and asked them questions such as, why they were there, how they felt and when was the last time they saw the sun. This collected our thoughts together as a group and because we hadn't thought about theses questions before, the exercise was effective as it let us improvise and use our imaginations again, to create the scene and also empathise with how the convicts felt. Our teacher then went into role as an officer and came round the room, asking members of the group that were also in role as convicts, who it was who had been on deck last and left the mattresses of straw, out to get wet. This was very effective as it showed us how aggressive the officers were and how badly they treated the convicts. It even scared me even though I wasn't really there. Developing this even further, we all walked round in a circle in role as convicts. Our teacher told us that this would probably be the only time we saw daylight all week on the ship, from this we could improvise the way that the convicts would act, for example they may be excited or their eyes would be stinging as it was too bright. ...read more.


After this we did a spontaneous improvisation, where a passing ship hand dropped a loaf of bread, nearby to where the convicts were working. We worked on what the convicts' reactions might have been and also what the consequences of their actions would have been. We worked in groups and improvised a scene based on this. Some people were desperate to eat the bread but wouldn't, some weren't interested and others were very tempted to take a bite of it but wouldn't, as they didn't get chance. We then adapted the scene by bringing an officer into the scene. We concentrated on what might happen here and what the officer would say and do in this situation. He might have used accusations and punishment to get the truth or not necessarily the truth, but what he wanted to hear. This was an effective piece of work because we learnt about how strict the rules were on the ship and we thought about how hungry and tempted, the convicts must have been at this point. Overall this scheme of work has been effective throughout but some parts could have been made better with more concentration from the group. Nathalie Groves 11s ...read more.

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