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Bunny New Girl — Natalie van den Dungen, 2015

Annabel arrives at her new school with her mother. As she meets with her new teacher, it becomes apparent that Annabel is very shy and is wearing a homemade rabbit mask to apparently hide her shyness. Even though she is encouraged by the teacher to remove the mask, she refuses. The new teacher takes her into class and introduces her to the rest of the pupils. Unfortunately, her bunny mask causes quite a stir, while the pupils laugh and point at Anna. She takes her place in the classroom and becomes the target of one of the boys who pokes, prods and ridicules her. This eventually results in him pinging the mask which drops from Annabel’s face. The true reason for the mask is finally revealed…

Themes include: bullying, being the new pupil and teamwork/inclusion.

Classroom Activities

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Critical

  • Before watching, tell the pupils the title of the film. Ask them what they think the title might mean. Give them 1 min to discuss with a shoulder/learning partner before sharing with class
  • Watch to 00:32 seconds, then pause. Do the pupils still agree with their initial idea? Have they changed their mind? What evidence from the (multimodal) text do they have to support this?
  • Introduce different types of shot used in filmmaking using our guide to Camerawork. Watch the first 32secs again. Make tallies against the headings “Close-up”, “Medium Shot” and “Long Shot”. What do they notice about the camera? What can you see? What can you not see? Why do you think this has been done?
  • Ask questions (if they have not already been answered in the previous tasks): “What is happening?”, “Who do you think our main character is?”, “Why?”. Answers should include supporting evidence from the film and “fit” with the style of the narrative.
  • Watch the film until 01:45 minutes, pause again. Why is Annabel wearing the mask? The class should vote for the reason they think is most likely.
  • Watch the rest of the film. Play it from the beginning to allow the pupils to watch it as a full film. Playing it from the beginning allows pupils to spot the connections they have made in the earlier activities.
  • Would there have been an alternative ending, still in keeping with the feel of the film? Ask the pupils to come up with three alternative ways of ending the film, working in pairs or threes to gives the chance to bounce ideas around.

Cultural

  • Where is it set? - Are there any clues as to whether this is a town, village, city or in Scotland, another part of Britain or another country entirely? Collect evidence from the text that infers the setting. Clues might include: size of school (it’s obviously big), accent (Australian), clothing/uniform (short sleeves, shorts, tartan pinafores), words that were used (teacher mentions Australia as a location), classroom (there’s a map of Australia on the wall) etc.
  • What it is Like to be the New Person – Pupils should create a mind map of being a new pupil. They should use the film’s protagonist, Annabel, as their starting point. The 3 headings for the mind map should include: Emotions/feelings, Thoughts and Sights.
  • Making Links 1 – Pupils should think about what bullying is. This may be a short conversation outlining that bullying is persistent targeting of people, rather than just the odd falling out or name-calling, or it might be a longer piece of work looking at the causes of bullying and ways to support pupils that are being bullied.
  • Making Links 2 - Work with a partner to make a list of texts where a bully is the main antagonist in the narrative. These might be books they have read, films they have watched, or stories they have listened to.
  • Right or Wrong? – Pupils should consider what they thought about the teacher’s reaction when the class bully flicked the elastic on the mask. Was it handled well? Was there a better way to handle the situation? Create a table with two columns. The left column should have the heading “What the teacher did” and the right-hand column should have the heading “What he should have done”.

Creative

WRITE

  • Pupils should use the mind map created in the 'Cultural' section to write a short story, split into three parts: The walk to the school, the introduction to the class, the pick-up after school.
  • Pupils should create a “How to” manual/poster for the class about welcoming a new pupil. e.g. “Do introduce yourself to the new pupil”, “Do introduce them to new people”, “Help them to find their pegs/coat rack” etc
  • Draw a “friend” in the middle of a piece of A4 paper. Write down as many good friend traits as they can round the character they have drawn. Organise ideas by colour coding the words in order of importance. Discuss the top three traits for a friend. Link this back to the text, Annabel’s newly found friendships.
  • Using the previous activity as a starter, pupils can create a job application form for being a friend. Listing their best qualities/interests beforehand would help create a plan beforehand.

DRAMA

  • Plan out a conversation between two of the characters. Pupils can choose from or be given: Annabel and Mum at the end of day, Bethany and Aiden at lunchtime, the teacher and another member of staff in the staffroom.
  • Following on from the previous task, plan a storyboard and then use tablets/devices to film a short fictional conversation between someone new and a pupil who is already in the class. Films should show knowledge of basic camera shots.

STEM

  • Pupils can create masks that they might have worn if they were the main character, Annabel. Plan these out initially, then bring in items from home to create the masks. These masks could use a paper plate base, just like Annabel’s in the film.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2015
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director Natalie van den Dungen
Country of Origin Australia
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Work / Ambition, Identity / Self, Intolerance / Misconceptions, Communication
Clip Length 05:50
Clip Length 05:50
Age Group P5-P7, S1-S3