Ted's teaching tips

18th September 1998 at 01:00
The movement in this picture is quite striking. It raises questions about what constitutes "entertainment" and also about various views of "masculinity".

Entertainment?

Ask pupils to define the word "entertainment". Does this picture accord with their definition? Do they find it cruel, shocking, amusing, exciting? Is it just a bit of fun, with an element of danger? Or is it exploitation of animals, the tormenting of a proud beast? What do different children look for in entertainment, and where does each draw the line?

Animal rights What rights do and should animals have? How do you treat your pets? Do you ever torment them? Do you feed, exercise and look after them properly? Are zoos and circuses a good or bad thing? Are we hypo-critical? (We say we love animals, but we also kill and eat them.) Masculinity Why is it mainly menboys who try to impress in physically dangerous activities like bull chasing? Do womengirls show off? How do humans compare with the animal world? (Male creatures strut, display plumage, show aggression, fight more frequently for territory or to win a female mate.) Is it simply macho showing off, or are there other reasons for displays of "bravery"? (eg, hunting, defending the family).

Humour Make up a picture caption (Just a flying visit?, Bull-it?) and speech bubbles, like "Do you get my point?" (bull), or "Is this the nearest exit?" (man).

See page 16.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

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