More Than Words
More Than Words follows the humorous adventures of a young girl, Rosa and her friend - a weird, cheeky little creature from another planet. Created by Rosa's story-writing imagination, the little creature has magic powers and is invisible to everyone but her.
Together they explore the use of the English language in different contexts and through a variety of texts. The little creature is able to conjure up a magic thought bubble which enables the two characters to interview people who use and produce particular texts for particular purposes eg. writers, television director, cartoonist, poet, puppeteers and story-teller.
Australian children's literature is featured in this series. Most episodes include a partially animated adaptation of a popular picture book. The series is designed as a resource to support the English Curriculum Statement and Profile for Australian Schools.
An argument between Rosa and the little creature over the influence of TV ads on viewers sets the scene for a critical exploration of advertising. They interview an ad-maker and they decide to try their hand at making an ad, with humorous results.
The little creature dreams of being like a cartoon character that it has seen. Rosa and the creature contact a cartoon writer to help explain the special characteristics of cartoons. Different kinds of cartoons are identified eg. the fairytale epic, the animated sitcom and a 'superhero' genre. Rosa and the little creature write a 'superhero' cartoon. The picture book featured is 'The Paw' by Natalie Jane Prior and Terry Denton.
Rosa and the little creature want to find the answer to a perplexing question: "Do frogs give you warts?". They use different information-gathering techniques, such as consulting non-fiction books, visiting a library and speaking to a zoologist specialising in frogs. The picture books featured are 'An Introduction to Frogs' by Michael Tyler and 'The Frog' by Margaret Roc and Sharyn Madder.
A scary poem read by a baby-sitter, whom Rosa imagines to be a witch, is the catalyst for an exploration of poetry writing. Rosa and the little creature write their own poems and interview poet Elizabeth Money. The picture book featured is Hist! by CJ Dennis and PJ Gouldthorpe (Penguin Books Aust. Ltd, 1995 and Walter McVitty Books, 1991).
Rosa and the little creature meet a writer of children's picture books and a script writer for the ABC children's series "The Ferals". The little creature tries to write its own story, and in doing so, learns about the conventions of storywriting; the role of the main character, setting, problem, climax and resolution. The picture book featured is "The Coathanger Horse" by Kym Lardner.
Purpose: Speaking and Listening
When the little creature discovers Rosa dancing, she reveals to him her secret aspiration to be a famous pop singer who receives an award in front of a large audience. The little creature imagines himself making a formal speech as a pop singer, but he gets tongue-tied and Rosa has to explain to him the purpose and features of a format speech. Aboriginal storyteller, Pauline McLeod tells a story from 'The Dreaming'.
Rosa organises her birthday party. In doing so, she introduces the little creature to a number of different kinds of writing - a recipe, an invitation, and recounting of a post event. Together, they also explore the different purposes and features of various kinds of writing. The picture book featured is 'Moonglue' by Daisy Utemorrah (Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation, 1993).
Rosa, prompted by the little creature's belief in the reality of a puppet character it sees on TV, sets out to help it recognise the distinction between imaginary characters in fiction and real people. Rosa and the little creature visit the set of children's TV series 'The Ferals' and decide to write and produce their own video program. The picture book featured is 'Enzo The Wonderfish' by Cathy Wilcox.
Disappointed with the video they made in the last episode, Rosa and the little creature look for advice about what goes into what Rosa calls making a 'proper' video. They are introduced to some of the basic language and techniques of television. They also find out how special effects added to pictures, music and audio effects can enhance a program. The picture book featured is 'Amy's Monster' by Jenny Wagner and Terry Denton.
Stereotypes in Fairytales
Rosa and the little creature explore the conventions of fairytales, examining two of the most common stereotypes - those related to appearance and gender roles. They contrast the traditional fairytale roles with those in the modern fairytale "The Paperbag Princess" by Robert Munsch.
This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.