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Nightshift [Yövuoro] (2004)

A bird, its chicks and a bat live in the same tree, but the bird’s daytime food collection keeps the bat awake. The bat returns from one of his nightly food quests, but slips into the hole of the trunk where the chicks are housed. In the morning, when the bird doesn’t hear its chicks, he assumes the bat has done something terrible. To his surprise, the bat’s collected all the chicks’ food already; now he can get some well earned rest. A mixture of claymation and puppet animation, music is used to suggest mood and add suspense.

Classroom Activities

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Questions

  • Who are the main characters in the story?

  • Which other characters do we meet?

  • What do you know about the bird form the images on screen?

  • What can you tell about the bird form the way it behaves?

  • When and how do we first meet the bat?

  • What kind of a character do you think the bat is?

  • What words can you use to describe the bat?

  • How do the characters change during the film? What happens to make them change?

  • Who is good and who is bad in the story? Explain and justify responses.

Watching

  • Use freeze frame and a spot the shots worksheet to identify different shots at different points in the story. Discuss where the camera is in these shots. Compare the use of long shots and close-ups at different moments in the story.

  • Look for moments when we see events through the eyes of one of the characters. How does it make us feel?

  • Note the way the film uses colour to suggest character (e.g. Bat’s red eyes) and setting (e.g. time of day). How do the colours change to show the time of day or night in the story? Which colours are used during the daytime? Which colours help to tell us it is night? Which colours do you associate with the bat? The bird? The bat is black and red. What does this make you feel when you first see it?

  • Discuss ways the film shows the passage of time. Look at the technique of ‘fade in/out’ and relate colour and light to the sequence or action.

  • Listen to the soundtrack only to 4:58 minutes into the film (the bat going to sleep at dawn). Encourage children to identify the different sounds they hear. You might give children a list of sounds – flapping, sighing, tapping and so on – and ask them to tick the word when the sound is heard. Discuss the ‘sound story’ of the film. What sounds can you hear that are made by characters or things in the story? What sounds can you hear that have been added to the film, not made by anyone or anything on screen? How does silence create an atmosphere?

  • Listen to how the music changes when different characters are on screen. Discuss how this helps to tell the story. How does the music make you feel?

Analysing

  • Discuss a variety of feelings suggested by the film: being angry, tired, frustrated. Discuss how you tell others how you feel. Talk about tolerance and consideration for others, and respecting differences.

  • Discuss how the bat dealt with the potential conflict with the bird. Role-play different ways of being neighbourly and helpful.

  • Discuss the different ways the bird and the bat could have chosen to live as neighbours.

  • Watch the film to 2:58 minutes in. Discuss: Bat is trying to get to sleep. How do you think he feels?

  • Watch the film to 4:58. How did you feel when you saw the bat going into the hole?

  • Explore the feelings of the woodpecker. How does she feel when the baby birds do not cry out? Feedback to the class and discuss.

  • How do we know when night becomes day? In your day, how do you know when it is time to get up/go to bed?

  • Discuss the structure of the story: what happens at the beginning of the story; and at the end of the story. What are the most important events, things that happen in the story? What do you think happens after the end of the story?

Creative

  • Science: Identify features of bats and birds; find out how animals fly; different animal habitats; nocturnal animals; the importance of sleep.

  • Art: Find out about and experience the materials used in the animation: create clay, playdough or Plasticine characters for a film.

  • Make a collage of the bird’s and bat’s homes, observing the shapes and patterns used in nature.

  • Investigate the habitats of wildlife in the local area. Create a map.

  • Explore the movements of the bat and bird through dance; retell the story as a dance.

  • Investigate the sleeping/waking habits of nocturnal animals; seeing in the dark.

  • Investigate the nutritional needs of young animals. Discuss why the young birds might be noisy and what food they eat.

  • Play a rhyming word game. Find other words that sound like ‘bat’. Write them on the class board. Then invite children to create sentences out of the words (for example: “The fat bat sat on the mat”). Repeat with other animal names.

  • Create a simple storyboard, retelling the story, with captions.

  • Create a comic strip version of the film using drawings or still images plus speech and thought bubbles for each of the characters.

  • Role-play the bat and bird, or a ‘noisy neighbour’ situation in real life. Consider alternative courses of action and dialogue that might keep the peace or solve the problem.

  • Learn about question beginnings using a dice or sheet (who, what, when, why, where, how). Create a range of questions to ask a partner who is ‘hot-seated’ as the bat or the bird. Create a simple questionnaire to be completed by the partner.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-002-000-017-C
Resource Rights Holder Simo Koivunen, Animatricks Animation
Project Ref STST2-04
Year of Production 2004
Genre Drama, Comedy
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Social studies, Religious and moral education, Sciences
Who Eija Saarinen (Producer), Sampa Kukkonen, (Director, Writer, Animator), Sara Wahl (Director, Animator), Simo Koivunen (Director, Writer, Animator), Turun Ammattikorkeakoulun (Producer)
Country of Origin Finland
Medium / Content 3D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Co-operation, Neighbours, Frustration, Misconception
Clip Length 07:00