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Chicken — Alana Hicks, 2019

In this lighthearted short, a disconnected mother and her daughter take on a racist shop assistant determined to con them, not realising that it will bring them closer together in the process. Working together isn’t always easy, but they soon show the sour-faced Dion that they’re not to be duped and turn the tables on her.

An unusual and entertaining look at both racism and female empowerment.

Classroom Activities

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  • Chicken isn't always meat. After watching the film consider why the title might be ‘Chicken’: what other cultural connotations are there for this word? How is this word used to incite action? Attack? Which other words have several meanings/connotations?
  • Words that hurt: Make a list of all the phrases in this short film which suggest someone may be emotionally hurt. Think about words we use against one another and the emotional impact they can have. Create a spider diagram showing these words/synonyms and the resulting feelings. Make a list of the opposites for these words. Imagine you said these out loud to someone you love – how would it make you/them feel?
  • Words can be powerful. Make a list of all the positive words you can use about yourself. Make a badge with your favourite word from your list and wear it, or pass it on to someone you think also has this quality/characteristic. Tell them why!
  • At the start of this film, mother and daughter are separate. How does the daughter’s body language reinforce this message? As the film develops the daughter helps her mother and the walls start to come down. How is this shown? What makes the final scene more intimate? How has their relationship changed? How do we see it?
  • Set in Sydney, Australia, the first scenes of this short are set in an Aboriginal household, then a small local shop. How is our sense of time and place formed by what we see? (Think about colour, props and sound). How is what we see different to what we see in our own homes and local shops this year? Make a list of similarities and differences.


  • Look at the Shell lamp on top of TV, and the two wood carvings shown on -mantelpiece. Look at examples of the aboriginal art of wood carving such as Coolamons, clap sticks, boomerang, shields, spears and digging sticks. This artwork is full of signs and symbols which are of cultural significance to Aborigine people. They are used to pass down narratives and traditions from one generation to the next. Scotland is another country steeped in folklore and storytelling. How do we pass down our stories? (aurally: through song or speech, written records, photographs etc) What stories or events have been passed down in your family and how?.
  • A sense of self: How do the artifacts around us show people who we are? Think about the objects we associate with being inherently Scottish. Imagine you had to move abroad and could only take five objects with you. Which objects would you take? Then imagine someone says you must leave two of your five behind. Which ones would make the cut, and why? How do you prioritise which are of most importance?
  • Debate: Imagine it is on the news that people with pink hair are less intelligent than people with blue hair. Split into teams and take one side of the argument each. How will you defend your standpoint? Find out how many years people of colour were used in the slave trade in the USA, UK, Europe… How easy is it to inaccurately convince people that they are inferior?



  • Write a personal reflection about a time when you have had to stand-up to someone else. Describe what happened, include personal feelings and reflections, think about whether it went better than or worse than expected. How did you feel before/during/after? How did it change you?


  • Create a design for your own piece Aborigine inspired artwork, Punu or carving for a Coolamon or shield: take inspiration from animals, and symbols which have significance to the Aborigine people. When finished try creating one which shows your own home culture. Create a paper mache version of your design, remembering to build up areas to add form, height and depth.


  • Create a two-minute script with two characters who disagree, one must outsmart the other. How will they do it? Their disagreement could be about anything, but your audience need to know that one is in the right. How can you convince your audience to side with them, or feel more connected to them?


  • Listen to some examples of Corroborees music from Australia. Specifically look at the instruments used and the distances from which you can hear them. Why would this be important? This music is used to pass on folklore and histories from generation to generation using mime and song. Scotland has a similar historic musical culture. Learn a little about both, then create a piece of music which tells of specific event in your life, or in our culture. How will you create depth, atmosphere, emotion?


  • Learn a traditional Aborigine dance (Corroboree) and perform it together, splitting into specific roles and supporting one another. This is about being part of a community, so look for instances when you can help one another memorise sections.


  • The indigenous people of Australia include people from both the mainland and Torres Strait Islands. These islanders are distinct and are mostly part of Queensland but have separate governmental status. The indigenous people here come from a vast range of cultural groups living in these lands for around 50,000 years: it is only in the last 200 years or so that they have become collectively referred to as Aborigine. Find out about the initial interactions between the Aborigines, the Torres Strait islanders and the white colonists who arrived between c1788-1890.
  • Bringing many cultures together to create one shared identity is incredibly difficult. What types of issues would be created? Which areas would pose hurdles? How do you think they overcame them? Now research and assess out how effectively they did this.
  • When the British arrived to try to colonise Australia in the late 1700s - 1800s there was dreadful conflict. Create a poster which shows how both sides would have been feeling at this time. What do you think they thought of each other? Which strategies did each side use? What were the consequences?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2019
Genre Comedy, Drama
Curriculum Areas Modern Languages, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director Alana Hicks
Country of Origin Australia
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Culture / Society, Identity / Self, Poverty / Class, Intolerance / Misconceptions
Clip Length 10:00
Clip Length 10:00
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6