Big Plans: FOUNDATION - Media Arts - Explore

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.

Explore - Use media technologies to capture and edit images, sounds and text for a purpose

Theme -GENRE

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about reality game shows, and how and why they are made.

Introduce students to the term ‘Reality Television’ (TV) and have students predict what is meant by the term. Provide an example of a TV show that students watch and that would be an obvious inclusion in this category, such as ‘The Block’, ‘Masterchef’, or ‘The Voice’.

Ask students to suggest the two forms of Reality television that are featured in Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’:

  1. (Reality) Talent Quest
  2. (Reality) Game Show

Have students suggest some of the story elements particular to these styles of television production:

  • Characters: Real people, volunteer contestants - not actors, compere, host, co-host, commentator
  • Setting: on location or in a production studio (quiz and talent shows)
  • Story: real, unscripted, factual stories, narratives about/by the volunteer contestants
  • Sound: actual, location sound, theme/title music
  • Framing: lots of post-production editing, multiple positioned cameras or hand-held following competitors
  • Audience: live and interactive

Invite students to recount various television programs that they watch that are considered ‘Reality Television’. See if they can describe the purpose of the show, the characters, the setting/s, and story for each.

Examples of shows include:

Divide students into smaller groups and have each group select one form of ‘Reality Television’ they want to recreate and demonstrate for the class. Have students designate a role to each member of their group as either a contestant or as the host or co-host. Design a game that they can act out and that would appeal to the rest of the class who will be the audience. Each student must design a character that they can play and these should be based on real contestants they have seen (or imagined).

Video the class productions of ‘Reality Television’. Prepare a ratings questionnaire, or Quizlet, with criteria about the quality of the show and its appropriateness for the age group it intended to attract, and have the audience ‘rate’ each program. Collate the results of the ratings to find out which of the programs the class would watch again. Suggest that students who voted for the program justify their choice using the media arts terminology.