Big Plans: YEAR 1 - Media Arts - Explain2

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.

Explain - Respond to media artworks and consider where and why people make media artworks, starting with media from Australia including media artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 6 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about filmed commercials as advertising.

As a class, view the trailer for the Little J & Big Cuz Trailer. Discuss with the class what they think the purpose of a production’s Trailer is, and prompt responses about its use for advertising for the show. Have the students suggest in what ways the Trailer is ‘selling’ the production to an audience.

Explain to students about how advertising is used to persuade people to ‘act’ on something they see, such as buying, selling, phoning, protesting, watching, etc. As a persuasive text, this trailer contains some features that would attract a young audience, and different features that would attract their parents.

Have students work in pairs to view the trailer again and come up with three messages about the animation series that the producers and/or broadcaster want an audience of children to know about the series. The pairs should also suggest two messages that the producers want the parents to know about the series.

As a class, watch the trailer without the sound and deconstruct the different scenes to see how the trailer was made, such as use of

  1. ‘cut-aways’: short clips used as examples, usually cut from the actual animation.
    A ‘cut-away’ introduces the characters, the settings, and some of the action and/or themes
  2. ‘live action’: where the actors and crew who made the series are seen making or talking about the production, e.g. scenes where the actors are in character, scenes where the actors are talking about what they think are the benefits of the series, and advice for the future of the series

Re-watch the trailer with the sound turned on, and have students identify which sounds accompany the different scenes:

  • music: theme for the series
  • location: natural background sounds
  • voice: dialogue/speech between the characters
  • sound effects: artificially produced sound

Have students determine how many different scenes from the animation series appear in the trailer and what is the dominant sound technique used.

Have students suggest the effect the trailer has on the intended audience. Ask students if they think it appeals to a young audience, or is it made for an older audience? And, do the students like or dislike it?

Watch a selection of the following trailers for children’s movies and television shows and have the class review the clips identifying the production features (image effects, sound effects):

Divide the class into small groups and have the groups select either

  1. ‘Brave J’s Survival Course’ reality TV challenge
  2. ‘Sisters only’ Talent Quest.

The groups should develop a storyboard or ‘story arc’ as a Trailer concept for either one of the suggested television shows, listed above.

Remind students that they could use an animation mashup with scenes from the episode and/or insert live action interviews with the characters and the actors who play them. The group can act out or explain the trailer to the class. The students can find setting stills for Little J and Big Cuz at Scene Builder.

Suggested teacher resources: