Study Guide

Beep

About this guide

The activities in this guide link the themes and concepts from Beep with the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum. Windmill hopes that this document will help you to make the most of Beep as a vehicle for genuine learning and reflection by providing a suite of ideas that will help you to bring the show into the classroom across different learning areas, both before and after viewing the performance. Windmill firmly believes that as experienced educators you know your students’ needs best, and so we invite you to adapt these activities to suit your own requirements in the classroom as you see fit.

The general capabilities are embedded within specific learning activities and can be identified with the following icons:

Coming to the show

Given that this may be many students first performance experience, it is important to talk about the protocols of attending the theatre.

Before the show you can:

  • Ask about their experiences watching live performances (watching older siblings in a school concert, going to a concert, i.e. the Wiggles etc.)
  • Share the journey with them, talk about their thoughts and feelings relating to the production
  • Talk about going to a special theatre space.
  • Explain that a performance usually finishes with clapping.
  • Talk about being an audience member. Explain that audiences are an important part of the performance. In this performance they will be invited to help the performers through movement.
  • Ask questions. What is the role of an audience? What happens during the performance? What can you do in your lounge when you are watching television that you cannot do in the theatre?
  • Talk about the various roles within a theatrical production; from the actors to the lighting technician to the front of house staff. Talk about which roles the students will interact with and which ones they may not see as they work behind the scenes.
  • Speak about how, unlike television or film, you can hear and see the actors and they can hear and see you.
  • Talk to your students about directing their full focus to the performance and how this will help actor concentration.
  • Talk about the importance of appreciation and affirmation for the performers.
  • Speak about what happens when the performance begins and ends. The lights will dim and/or you might hear a voice over or sound. Explain that this is the audiences cue to focus their attention on the performance.

Synopsis

Beep is a beautiful story of friendship, overcoming adversity and working together. The show focuses on the trials of Beep, a robot who has landed on a strange planet and is unable to return home. Slowly but surely, her power starts to drain, and the audience is left wondering what will become of this loveable robot. Luckily for Beep, a new friend appears in the shape of Mort. Mort lives with his mum and his sister, Pop. When Beep arrives in his village, Mort is the first to approach her and they quickly become friends. This friendship turns out to be life saving for Beep, as it is Mort’s ingenuity and persistence that provides a solution to Beep’s battery problems.

Director's note Sam Haren

In creating Beep, we wanted to build upon the stylistic approaches of the two works based on the Grug books we had previously made. These works combine puppetry with a unique form of performance and storytelling. The character of Grug is the only one of his kind. He lives by himself, has no family, and inventively solves the problems in his world. For Beep, we were interested in creating a village of creatures who all live together. We wanted to explore what happens when an outsider enters their world. Thematically, the work explores what it means to accept someone from a different place.

We’ve discovered that an episodic structure is very effective for this age group, as younger children engage with smaller narrative units rather than long, complex dramatic arcs. As a result, we’ve chosen to explore the large dramaturgical problems that occur in the show through in little story units, structured around experiences in the world of Beep that the children can relate to.

Writer's note Katherine Fyffe

For me, Beep is a show about finding yourself out of your comfort zone, learning to adapt to new things, and the importance of friendship in smoothing life’s transitions. Themes of change, friendship and home are investigated through the characters and their environment.

Beep’s journey mirrors that of many people around the world today: her home is no longer safe, landing her in a strange new place which she must find a way to make her new home. This allows us to think about the broader idea of what “home” is for children and adults. Mort and the villagers also embark on a journey of learning to accept and embrace someone new in their tight knit community.

Change is a big part of children’s lives, whether that be starting school, moving house, or a shift in the family unit such as parental separation or a new family member. Beep demonstrates how these transitions can be made easier with the support of friends and the wider community.

Did you knowBeep was made by the same creative team as Grug and Grug and the Rainbow?

Cast and Creatives

Katherine Fyffe

Writer, Co-creator

Katherine graduated with Honours from Flinders Drama Centre in 2001. She has co-created and performed in shows I Am Not An Animal, Trouble on Planet Earth, Highway Rock N Roll Disaster, Please Go Hop!, and Disappearance for The Border Project.

Sam Haren

Director, Co-creator

Sam is a Creative Director of Sandpit, a company that create immersive, and interactive theatre and personal experiences. Sam was the Artistic Director of The Border Project from 2002-2012, directing or co-directing all of their work during that time.

Jonathon Oxlade

Designer, Co-creator

Jonathon studied Illustration and Sculpture at The Queensland College of Art and has designed sets and costumes in Australia for Windmill Theatre Co, Queensland Theatre, LaBoite Theatre, Is This Yours?, Aphids, Circa, Arena Theatre Company and many more.

Chris Petridis

Technical Designer

Chris completed his Technical Production course at the Adelaide Centre of the Arts. Since graduating, he has been working extensively and continuing to develop his experience across theatre, dance, and other live events both in Australia and overseas.

Luke Smiles

Composer, Sound Designer

Luke creates highly detailed soundtracks for theatre, dance and film, working across all areas of music composition, sound design, foley and sound effects editing. His work is enjoyed by audiences both nationally and around the world.

Tamara Rewse

Puppet Maker, Puppet Consultancy

Tamara has worked in numerous areas of the performing arts since 1997 including as a Director, Devisor, Maker and Singer. She has toured both nationally and internationally. She has also worked as both a performer and puppeteer for numerous shows.

Nathan O'Keefe

Performer

Nathan has worked extensively in theatre both nationally and internationally. Recent credits include Tartuffe (STCSA/Brink), Things I Know To Be True, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hedda Gabler (STCSA) and Masquerade (STCSA/Griffin).

Ezra Juanta

Performer

Ezra graduated from Adelaide College of Arts in 2006. Since graduating, Ezra has featured in numerous screen and stage productions, the most notable being his portrayal of The Lion in Windmill Theatre Co’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Kialea-Nadine Williams

Performer

Kialea first started her performing career as a dancer, studying at Swindon Dance in the UK before graduating from Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in 2002. She then went on to join Phoenix Dance Theatre before making her way to Adelaide.

Characters

Beep

Beep is a robot who has landed on
a strange planet and is unable to
return home.

Mort

Mort is Beep’s first friend after she crash lands on his planet.

Pop

Pop is Mort’s sister, but she is also his
very best friend.

The villagers

The townspeople from Mort’s planet who are wary of Beep when she first arrives on their planet.

Fuzzles

The fuzzles are little mischievous fluff balls who Beep, Mort and Pop play with.

Bird

The bird on top of Mort’s tree house  who SQUUUAKKKK’S every day to signal it’s morning, and time to get up!

Early Years Learning Framework

Outcome 01 Children have a strong sense of identity

Pre-show Activities

Activities

1.1 Children feel safe, secure, and supported.
1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency.
1.3 Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
1.4 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.

Have a discussion about the theatre. Has anyone seen a show before? Share their experiences and talk about the rules they had to follow (sitting quietly, clapping at the end, etc). To ensure that each student understands how the excursion will work and feels safe and supported when moving from school to the theatre space, create a visual timetable or story map of the day. Using the images provided below (see Additional Resources for instructions), show your students pictures of each part of the day. Ask them to arrange the images in the correct order.

Leave this on display until the day of the performance.



Post-show Activities

Activities

1.1 Children feel safe, secure, and supported.

Using the visual timetable you created in the pre-show activities, add any photos you took of your students on their excursion (add photos of them on the bus to the visual timetable card about getting the bus to the theatre etc).

Leave your display in an accessible location for parents and students to be able to share and discuss.

1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency.
1.3 Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.

Introduce the word syllables and play a game where the students have to guess how many are in their name before you clap them. How many syllables do Beep and Mort have in their names?

Create a chart to show how many syllables each person in the class has, adding Beep and Mort, too!

1.4 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.

Have a discussion about how Mort helped Beep in the show. Why did he help her? Why do friends help each other? Ask your students to come up with a list of things that they do to help their friends. If they are confident enough, play a game where they mime doing something for someone and the rest of the group has to guess what they are doing.



Outcome 02 Children connect with and contribute to their world

Pre-show Activities

Activities

2.1 Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation.
2.2 Children respond to diversity with respect.
2.3 Children become aware of fairness.
2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.

Allow your students to put on a short performance, using puppets or costumes from your dress up area. Model audience behaviour with other students, telling them what you are doing and why (e.g. At the end we give them a big round of applause, can you help me etc).



Post-show Activities

Activities

2.1 Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation.
2.2 Children respond to diversity with respect.

Remind your students that Beep was from a different planet, and was quite different (in both looks and needs) to Mort, Pop and the other villagers. Hold a discussion about different cultures and countries. Ask your students to share where their family is from and create a class map using photos of each child. Celebrate each culture and invite parents or grandparents to come in and share a cuisine or tradition with the class.

2.3 Children become aware of fairness.

Discuss the idea of fairness and make a list of your students’ ideas. How was fairness shown in the production of Beep? (Mort and the villagers help Beep by working together and sharing the workload. They don’t just leave her without power, they help someone in need). Read The Little Red Hen by Diane Muldrow or other books based around fairness. Ask your students: how can we show fairness to others? Make a chart or display of their answers.

2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.

Have a number of non-fiction books about wind and solar power available for your students to look through. Read a new one each day and discuss renewable energy sources.

Ask your students to come up with some ways that they can help care for the environment in their learning setting (compost bin, recycling, turning off lights when not using them etc). Put them into action, if possible.



Outcome 03 Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

Pre-show Activities

Activities

3.1 Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.
3.2 Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.

Play a piece of upbeat music and ask your students how it makes them feel. Now play them a more sombre piece, and repeat the question. Make a list of things that make them happy and excited, and things that make them sad or reflective. Now ask them to create movements with their body to show those emotions without using words (e.g. high energy jumping or skipping for happy, slow walking with heads down for sad etc). Put their movements to the music tracks you used previously.

Building on this work, ask your students what they would do if they saw someone who was feeling sad. How could we cheer them up? Create a movement sequence expressing their ideas.



Post-show Activities

Activities

3.1 Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.

During the activities you carry out, model and explain resilience and managing with frustrations when faced with a challenge.

3.2 Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.

Ask your students if they remember how Beep got her energy (the wind). How do we get our energy? (food) How do we keep our bodies healthy and working well? Discuss healthy foods and sometimes foods.

Make a chart using pictures of different food items and ask your students to sort them into the two categories.



Outcome 04 Children are confident and involved learners

Pre-show Activities

Activities

4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.
4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.

Set up an area within your learning space where your students can play and experiment with windmills, pinwheels, wind turbines and paper aeroplanes. Encourage questions and conversations around how the wind make them work.

Make a pinwheel with your students (see Additional Resources for instructions). They can plant them in your outdoor area and make predictions about what will happen in different weather conditions. Make notes of their observations and thoughts.



Post-show Activites

Activities

4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.
4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.

Using the knowledge your students gained from their pre-show experimental play with wind turbines and pinwheels, see if they can create their own design, using a range of different materials (cardboard, pop-sticks, glue, straws etc).

Using their imagination, ask your student to come up with a type of energy that we could use that would be renewable. Discuss their answers and allow them to design and make their machines.

Discuss what would have happened to Beep if she had stayed out in the rain (parts of her would rust and her electronics would stop working). Place a sample of the objects listed below in a container of water and check them every few days. Leave the rest of the objects nearby or in a similar dry container to compare what happens. See which objects start to show signs of rust and which do not. Let your students touch and smell the objects that have rusted. Do they feel different? Do they smell? Do they look different?

  • Paper clips, small bolts, metal washers and any other small metal objects to check for rusting (let the children brainstorm and gather samples as appropriate).
  • Include some items that won’t rust such as pennies, brass and plastic items.


Outcome 05 Children are effective communicators

Pre-show Activities

Activities

5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.
5.2 Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.
5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.
5.4 Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.
5.5 Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.

Have a range of books based on friendship available for your students to look at. Rotate the stories as the feature story of the week and discuss your students’ thoughts on each book. Which was their favourite and why? Which ones didn’t they like as much and why? Explain that when you go to see the show Beep, there will be two characters who become friends. Ask your students to look out for those characters (Beep and Mort) and discuss their friendship after the performance.



Post-show Activities

Activities

5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

Using the photographs you took of the theatre trip as a stimulus, hold discussions about the show and what your students thought of it. What were their favourite bits, and why? Ask them to draw or paint their favourite character and hold a show and tell for the class, giving your students an opportunity to share their work and ideas.

5.2 Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.

Have some fiction and non-fiction books about robots available for your students to look through. Read a new one each day and discuss how robots are used in the world today.

The following books have been suggested by Kath Fyffe, who wrote Beep, as they were some of her inspiration when writing the show. Read some of these books and see if your students can find any similarities in the themes of friendship and difference/resilience in Beep and the books below.

  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
  • My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.

In your art/painting area, have lots of different media available for students to create their own versions of Mort and Beep (e.g. cut up pieces of silver/grey paper, red and yellow paints for Beep; hessian, string, leaves for Mort etc).

5.4 Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.

Using illustrations of the production of Beep, ask your students to retell the story and put the illustrations in the correct order.

Remind your students about Beep’s power bars – how many did she have in total? (5) Focus your mathematical work for the week on counting to 5 and representing it in different ways: grouping objects, painting power bars, sitting in groups of 5 etc.



Australian Curriculum F-2

English

Pre-show Activities

Activity

Have a number of books based on friendship available in your reading area. Read some as a class and discuss the central themes of the books. Discuss the features of the stories and create a chart of your students’ responses.

Read The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan. There is also a beautiful animated version available on YouTube, which you could watch after reading the book. This story was a point of inspiration for the writer of Beep and is about an unusual creature who doesn’t fit in.

Discuss the themes of the story (belonging, helping others, compassion, noticing those in need) and create a list of your students’ responses. Following this, they could design and create their own lost things to display around the classroom, accompanied by a short descriptive piece of writing about their creation.

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Literature and Context
    Recognise that texts are created by authors who tell stories and share experiences that may be similar or different to students’ own experiences (ACELT1575)
  • Interacting with others
    Listen to and respond orally to texts and to the communication of others in informal and structured classroom situations (ACELY1646)
  • Examining literature
    Identify some features of texts including events and characters and retell events from a text (ACELT1578)
Year 1
  • Literature and context
    Discuss how authors create characters using language and images (ACELT1581)
  • Interacting with others
    Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions (ACELY1656)
  • Examining literature
    Discuss features of plot, character and setting in different types of literature and explore some features of characters in different texts (ACELT1584)
Year 2
  • Literature and context
    Discuss how depictions of characters in print, sound and images reflect the contexts in which they were created (ACELT1587)
  • Interacting with others
    Listen for specific purposes and information, including instructions, and extend students’ own and others’ ideas in discussions (ACELY1666)
  • Examining literature
    Discuss the characters and settings of different texts and explore how language is used to present these features in different ways (ACELT1591)

Activity

Read the story My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood. If you don’t have the book easily accessible, there is a narrated version available on YouTube.

What are the similarities between this story and Beep? (resilience when faced with change, moving homes, feeling alone, finding it hard to fit into a new place, kindness and friendship). Create a chart as a class, listing similarities and differences between the two stories.

Ask your students to create a poem or diary account written from Beep’s point of view. How do they think she felt when she first landed? How did she feel when her energy bars began to fade? What about when the villagers helped her to recharge? Allow your students to perform or read their work to the class.

The books below have been suggested by the author of Beep as they were some of her inspiration when writing the show. You could look at these stories together as a class, or have them available in your reading area for students to read or look through independently.

  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
  • Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge (ACELY1651)
Year 1
  • Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication (ACELT1586)
  • Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)
  • Make short presentations using some introduced text structures and language, for example opening statements (ACELY1657)
Year 2
  • Identify, reproduce and experiment with rhythmic, sound and word patterns in poems, chants, rhymes and songs (ACELT1592)
  • Rehearse and deliver short presentations on familiar and new topics (ACELY1667)
  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)


Post-show Activities

Activity

Discuss the performance with your students and record their responses. What were their favourite parts of the show? Who were their favourite characters? Why?

Ask your students to write a summary of their trip to the theatre. Depending on ability, their report could include pictures and key words, phrases, or more complex sentences. When their written reports are completed, give each student the chance to present their summary to the class.

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
  • Use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact (ACELY1784)
  • Deliver short oral presentations to peers (ACELY1647)
  • Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge (ACELY1651)
Year 1
  • Use interaction skills including turn-taking, recognising the contributions of others, speaking clearly and using appropriate volume and pace (ACELY1788)
  • Make short presentations using some introduced text structures and language, for example opening statements (ACELY1657)
  • Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)
Year 2
  • Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and language features that help the text serve its purpose (ACELA1463)
  • Rehearse and deliver short presentations on familiar and new topics (ACELY1667)
  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)

Activity

Read the story My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood. If you don’t have the book easily accessible, there is
a narrated version available on YouTube.
What are the similarities between
this story and Beep? (resilience
when faced with change, moving homes, feeling alone, finding it hard to fit into a new place, kindness and friendship). Create
a chart as a class, listing similarities and differences between the two stories.

Ask your students to create a poem or diary account written from Beep’s point of view. How do they think she felt when she first landed? How did she feel when her energy bars began to fade? What about when the villagers helped her to recharge? Allow your students to perform or read their work to the class. The books below have been suggested by the author of Beep as they were some of her inspiration when writing the show.
You could look at these stories together as a class, or have them available in your reading area for students to read or look through
independently.

  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
  • Use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact (ACELY1784)
  • Deliver short oral presentations to peers (ACELY1647)
  • Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge (ACELY1651)
Year 1
  • Use interaction skills including turn-taking, recognising the contributions of others, speaking clearly and using appropriate volume and pace (ACELY1788)
  • Make short presentations using some introduced text structures and language, for example opening statements (ACELY1657)
  • Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)
Year 2
  • Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and language features that help the text serve its purpose (ACELA1463)
  • Rehearse and deliver short presentations on familiar and new topics (ACELY1667)
  • Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)


Drama

Pre-show Activities

Activity

Make a happy face and ask your students to tell you what emotion you are expressing. Strike a pose with your whole body that shows sadness and ask the same question. Explain that our faces and bodies can show other people how we are feeling, and being able to read body language is very helpful in social situations.

Pair up your students and ask them to decide who is A and who is B. A should express an emotion, using their face and body, and B should try to guess. After a few turns, B takes their turn expressing different emotions. If they are confident enough, you could have some students express an emotion for the whole class to guess.

Explain that in drama, we can sometimes create a freeze-frame, or tableau. This is a frozen picture, or photograph, of an event. Put your students into small, mixed ability pairs, and ask them to create tableau for the following situations. After giving them the title, give a few examples of other people that may be in the tableau (other students, teachers, people shopping etc). Allow the groups one minute to get into their characters and hold a freeze. They must be frozen when you finish your countdown from 10.

  • A new student starting school
  • Someone with no friends on the playground
  • A child lost in a supermarket

After showing the rest of the class their freezes, ask the groups to recreate their freezes, but this time, one of the other characters in their tableau is going to show that they are helping the person in need. Give them time to change their pictures, and then share with the rest of the class.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore role and dramatic action in dramatic play, improvisation and process drama (ACADRM027)
  • Use voice, facial expression, movement and space to imagine and establish role and situation (ACADRM028)


Post-show Activities

Activity

Ask your students to brainstorm some key words that we could use to describe Beep (scared, alone, drained of energy etc). Allow them to show these using their whole body, for example: huddled up, head down for alone. Repeat the exercise for Mort and Pop.

Explain hot seating to your students, if you haven’t already used this technique with them. One person sits on a seat in front of the class (or smaller group, depending on confidence) and becomes a character from Beep. Their audience is allowed to ask them questions one at a time, and the student should answer as if they were actually that character. You can model this by going first, if needed.

After your students have had a turn at this, follow this up with a creative writing task. Ask them to write or illustrate a day in the life of Beep or Mort, using their ideas from the hot-seating activity. You could lay this out as a comic and differentiate the amount of writing required based on ability.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore role and dramatic action in dramatic play, improvisation and process drama (ACADRM027)
  • Use voice, facial expression, movement and space to imagine and establish role and situation (ACADRM028)


Science

Pre-show Activities

Activity

Create an anemometer (see Additional Resources for instructions) and collect wind data at different times of the day for a week or month. Present the data in a simple bar chart, or use Microsoft Excel/ Google Sheets to create a chart of their choosing.

Make a number of different sized paper aeroplanes, using designs from books, online or suggested by your students. You could turn it into a competition and put the class into groups or pairs. Take it in turns to fly them in a room or yard large enough and using metre rulers, measure the distance they travelled. Record their distances in a bar chart, or use ICT software to create a graph of your choice. If you carried out the anemometer experiment, you could use your data to choose a time of day which will have more wind to help the planes fly further.

Show your students how to make a pinwheel (see Additional Resources). Place their finished pinwheels in an outside area where they will catch the wind. Ask your students to make predictions about what will happen to the pinwheels in the wind, and when they think the most wind will occur. If you have a vegetable patch at school, the pinwheels could be placed here to discourage birds from eating any seeds.

Using your students’ observations of their pinwheels, open up a discussion about wind turbines and renewable energy sources. Find other resources on renewable energy sources, either in print or online, and use these to start a discussion about renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Help your students brainstorm some things that we can do to help (compost bin, recycling, turning off lights when not using them etc). Put them into action in your classroom, if possible.

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
  • Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS037)
  • Participate in guided investigations to explore and answer questions (ACSIS038)
  • Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS042)
Year 1
  • Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
  • Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024)
  • Participate in guided investigations to explore and answer questions (ACSIS025)
  • Use informal measurements to collect and record observations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS026)
  • Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS027)
  • Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS213)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS029)
Year 2
  • Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
  • Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS037)
  • Participate in guided investigations to explore and answer questions (ACSIS038)
  • Use informal measurements to collect and record observations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS039)
  • Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS040)
  • Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041)
  • Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS042)


Post-show Activities

Activity

Discuss the part in the show where Beep is outside in the rain. What happens to metal when it is left outside in the rain?

See the Additional Resources for examples of rust experiments that you could carry out with your class.

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses (ACSHE013)
  • Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
  • Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
Year 1
  • Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
  • Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)
  • Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024)
  • Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS025)
  • Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS026)
  • Through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS212)
Year 2
  • Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)
  • Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS037)
  • Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS038)
  • Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS039)
  • Through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS214) have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses (ACSHE013)
  • Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
  • Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)


Visual Art

Post-show Activities

Activity

Using media of your choosing (paint, collage, clay etc). allow your students to create their own versions of a character from the play. The finished products could accompany any written work that your students complete and be put on display for other classes and parents to see.

Characters from Beep:

  • Beep
  • Mort
  • Pop
  • Mum
  • Fuzzles
  • Mechanical bird
  • Narrator
  • Villagers

Learning Outcomes

  • Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)
  • Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108)
  • Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing


Health and Physical Education

Post-Show Activities

Activity

Play the following game based on Beep’s energy bars as a warm-up each time you have a PE lesson:

Students start in their own safe space around the room and should play in silence, as they will need to hear your voice. As you
call each number, they respond with the appropriate action or movement, always ensuring the safety of themselves and others by watching where they are going. As they become more confident with the numbers, you could try saying them out of order to make it harder.

0 – no energy – asleep on the floor
1 – crawling
2 – walking
3 – hopping
4 – jumping
5 – full energy – running

Discuss the features that are needed to make a game:

  • An objective
  • Rules
  • Restrictions
  • All players’ acceptance

Split your class into small, mixed ability groups. Using the features mentioned above as guidelines, ask your students to create a
game that centres around working together as a team. Allow them time to create and practice the game before demonstrating to the rest of the class. These games can
form warm-ups or ‘brain-breaks’ for your class throughout the term.

Learning Outcomes

Foundation Year
  • Practise personal and social skills to interact with and include
    others (ACPPS004)
  • Participate in games with and without equipment (ACPMP009)
  • Cooperate with others when participating in physical activities (ACPMP012)
  • Follow rules when participating in physical activities (ACPMP014)
Year 1-2
  • Describe ways to include others to make them feel that they
    belong (ACPPS019)
  • Identify and practise emotional responses that account for own and
    others’ feelings (ACPPS020)
  • Create and participate in games (ACPMP027)
  • Use strategies to work in group situations when participating in physical activities (ACPMP030)
  • Identify rules and play fairly when participating in physical activities (ACPMP032)


Additional Resources

Picture cut outs

Using the images provided below, show your students pictures of each part of the day. Ask them to arrange the images in the correct order.

Leave this on display until the day of the performance.

Click here to download the images



Make a Pinwheel

Make a pinwheel with your students. They can plant them in your outdoor area and make predictions about what will happen in different weather conditions. Make notes of their observations and thoughts.

Click here to download an instruction template

Instructions

HINT: separate your pinwheel from the dowel with two or three beads first.
Step 1

Begin with a square of paper or cardboard.

Step 2

Fold your square, corner to corner, then unfold.

Step 3

Make a pencil mark around 1/3 of the way
from the centre on each of the fold lines.

Step 4

Cut along the fold lines. Stop at your pencil mark.

Step 5

Bring every other point into the centre and stick a pin through all four points.

Step 6

The head of the pin forms the hub of the pinwheel.

Step 7

Turn your pinwheel over and make sure that the pin pokes through the exact centre.

Step 8

Roll the pin around in little circles to enlarge
the hole a little. This guarantees your pinwheel will spin freely.

Step 9

Stick the pin into a thin dowel.



Make an Anemometer

Create an anemometer and collect wind data at different times of the day for a week or month. Present the data in a simple bar chart, or use Microsoft Excel/ Google Sheets to create a chart of their choosing.

Click here to download an instruction template

Materials

  • 5 small paper cups
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • 3 thick wooden dowels
  • stopwatch

 



Procedure

  • Use your hole punch to make a hole in the side of each of the 4 paper cups.
  • The 5th cup will be the centre of the Anemometer. Use the hole punch to make 4 holes spaced evenly around the rim of this cup.
  • Push the pieces of dowel through the centre cup. They should make an X.
  • Slide the remaining cups onto the end of each dowel. Ensure that the cups are all facing the same way.
  • Make a hole in the bottom of the last cup and insert the centre dowel.
  • The dowel should meet the X in the centre cup. Tape everything in place!
  • Put the centre dowel into the bottle and you’re ready to go!

How to measure wind speed

Once your anemometer is spinning it can now be used to measure speed.

  • First measure the diameter of the circle of cups.
  • Then mark one cup and a centre point on the bottle.
  • Then go outside when there is a bit of wind (not too much or the bottle might blow over!)
  • Measure the time it takes for a full rotation of the cup by watching
    how long it takes the marked cup to come back to the centre point
    on the bottle.
  • Ask your group to nominate a time keeper. Have the group count
    the rotations per minute (RPM)
  • Multiply the number of rpm by 3.14. If the cups spin ten times per minute multiply 3.14 by 10 (31.4)
  • Then multiply this number by the diameter of the circle to find out the linear speed (speed in a straight line) per minute. If the diameter is ten centimetres then the linear speed per minute would be 310.4
  • centimetres per minute.


Rust Experiments

Background Information

Rust is a chemical process that combines iron (Fe) and oxygen (O) to form iron oxide. The chemical formula is: 4Fe + 3O2 = 2Fe2O3.

During this reaction, the iron atoms are passing electrons to the oxygen atoms, a transfer that is called oxidation. In the process, the atoms are bound together.



Experiment one

Place a sample of the objects listed below in a container of water and check them every few days. Leave the rest of the objects nearby or in a similar dry container to compare what happens. See which objects start to show signs of rust and which do not. Let your students touch and smell the objects that have rusted. Do they feel different? Do they smell? Do they look different?

Paper clips, small bolts, metal washers and any other small metal objects to check for rusting (let the children brainstorm and gather samples as appropriate).

Include some items that won’t rust such as pennies, brass and plastic items.



Experiment two

Materials

  • fine steel wool
  • water
  • white vinegar
  • table salt
  • teaspoon measure
  • millilitre measure
  • tea bags, hot water and container for making tea
  • tape and marker for labels
  • 5 beakers or similar containers
  • paper and pen or pencil to record results

Procedure

Ask the following questions: Can iron rust in dry air, or is water needed? Does salt affect how materials rust? Do the salty roads in winter or salt spray from the sea make cars rust faster? Why do we paint things like bridges?

Notes

Don’t use the coarse steel wool that you would use for scrubbing dishes – it is made of stainless steel and is therefore rust-resistant.

The tea isn’t central to the question, but does react quickly, which may engage your students more effectively. The experiment
will work without tea, if you wish.

Prepare the tea by soaking one or two tea bags in hot water in a container such as a tea mug for about three minutes. Stir briskly
and discard tea bags.

Make saltwater by adding 2 teaspoons of salt per 230ml of water and stirring.

Label the 5 containers:

  • water
  • saltwater
  • vinegar
  • tea
  • air

Pour roughly 120 ml of water into the first container. Add 120 ml of saltwater to the second container. Add 120ml of white vinegar to the third container and 120ml of
tea to the fourth. Leave the 5th container dry.

Break off marble-sized balls of steel wool and roll into 5 small balls. Use the same amount for each container. Drop the steel
wool into each container.

Check what is happening after 15 minutes. The tea probably has started to darken. The steel wool will have turned black.

Record your results after 24 hours.

Record your results again after 48
hours.

What has changed?

What is happening?

The tannins in the tea are reacting with the iron and rust in the steel wool to make iron tannate. Iron tannate is very stable and people are investigating its use to prevent
metals from rusting.

The tea will turn black with a concentration of iron tannates.

The water and the saltwater will turn brown and the steel wool will begin to rust.

The vinegar will still be clear and the steel wool shouldn’t show any rust. One reason for this might be that the vinegar has been in
a closed jar and might not have much oxygen in it.

The dry steel wool will not rust either. Even though the chemical equation shows that only iron and oxygen are needed, the chemical process actually needs some water or another catalyst to be present to get the reaction going.

Warning:

There are some experiments online that guarantee “fast rust.” They require mixing bleach and vinegar, which is not a good idea! The reaction releases chlorine gas, which, in small amounts, reacts immediately with the iron to give iron chloride, which looks like rust. If you add too much, however, toxic chlorine gas could be released.

 



Acknowledgements

Produced by Windmill Theatre Co. Developed and compiled by Natalie McCarl in consultation with Windmill Theatre Co.

The activities and resources contained in this document are designed for educators as the starting point for developing more comprehensive lessons for this work. © Copyright protects this Education Resource.

Except for purposes permitted by the Copyright Act, reproduction by whatever means is prohibited. However, limited photocopying for classroom use only is permitted by educational institutions.

This resource is proudly supported by the South Australian Department for Education and the Lang Foundation.

  •  Lang Foundation
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