Big Plans: FOUNDATION - Media Arts - Engage

Big Cuz and Little J are very excited that Sissy is coming to play with them over the weekend. They both see Sissy as their special friend. Big Cuz wants to play a ‘Sisters Only’ talent quest just for she and Sissy, and Little J plans an obstacle course for all to play. Eventually, Little J, Big Cuz and Sissy come together to test their skills on the obstacle course.

Engage - Explore ideas, characters and settings in the community through stories in images, sounds and text


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about the story principles and how the story developed as a story ladder

Introduce the concepts of (media) artist and (media) audience. Refer to Australian Curriculum, The Arts: Glossary for definitions of these terms.

Explain that the two concepts media artist and media audience are linked – the media artist writes or produces a story to be read or viewed by the media audience. The media audience may sometimes read the media differently to how the media artist intends it to be read. This mismatch of reading in Media Arts is called ‘viewpoints’, and how an audience reads a media story depends on various conditions, such as age of the audience, ethnic background, prior experiences, and understanding the complex nature of storytelling, etc.

Introduce students to the concept of a basic ‘story arc’ (beginning, middle and end) and some elements of an advanced application, such as exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Prepare a worksheet or Quizlet, where the order of the events in Episode 13 are mixed up and the students are required to re-order them correctly. This activity allows students to identify the sequence of actions that led to the ultimate resolution of all friends playing in the obstacle course. As a class, identify the events that match the terms exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.

Episode events:

  1. the three-legged race – school playground
  2. Big Cuz telling Little J that Sissy is coming over to play – in the school corridor near bag racks
  3. Big Cuz and Sissy acting out a talent quest – the bedroom
  4. Little J telling nanna that the girls won’t play with him – Nanna’s kitchen
  5. Sissy comes out play – the backyard

Examine a character arc, involving the (1) orientation/introduction to the character, (2) the character has an unfortunate dilemma to be resolved, and (3) the character overcomes the dilemma through either good luck or good management.

Discuss how this character arc can be applied to the individual characters in Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’:

  1. Little J
  2. Big Cuz
  3. Sissy

Have students apply their understanding of story arc (beginning, middle and end) and/or character arc (exploration, dilemma, resolve) to other stories they read/view, e.g.

As a class, discuss how the stages of the story arc and/or character arc become evident in each example.

Suggested resources:

Teacher reference: