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- Hello, my name is Ms. Johnson, and I'm going to be teaching you English today.

In today's lesson we're going to be analysing the stepmother and the witch in "Hansel and Gretel" by Anthony Browne.

If you haven't watched the previous lessons, then you should stop this video and go back and start at lesson one.

But if you have, then let's get started.

We're going to start today's lesson by doing a recap of the story and the events in the story, and this will help us to make sure that we're linking all our ideas today.

And then we're going to look at a key question, and our key question is going to focus on analysing the stepmother and the witch.

And then we're going to summarise and reflect on everything that we've kind of learned or thought about in our discussions today.

In the lesson today, you will need an exercise book or paper to do a few notes on.

You will need a pen or a pencil, and you're also going to need your brain.

I really want you to be thinking throughout this lesson.

You need to be generating your ideas, your own questions.

Whenever we read a book, we have to develop our own response to it, and so I really want to hear your ideas.

This is also a really good time now if there are any distractions in the room, for instance if there's a window open and it's really noisy outside, or if there is a TV on, to just pause the video here, and go and sort out those distractions.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Okay, let's get started.

So let's start by recapping what we know so far about "Hansel and Gretel" by Anthony Browne.

So can you remember the events of the story? What happens in "Hansel and Gretel", can you remember what's happened? And what maybe the opening was, what the buildup of the story was, what was the climax, and how did the story end? What was the resolution? So perhaps you would like to just talk over each of these pictures and say what is happening in each of the pictures.

If there's someone nearby, you could pause the video and tell them the story.

So pause the video here, and have a go at recapping.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So, in "Hansel and Gretel" as we know, the stepmother and the father, they are living through a famine, and they've got no food for the children or themselves.

So they decide, well, the stepmother decides, to plot a plan.

And her plan is that she is going to get rid of the children and leave them in the forest.

But Hansel and Gretel overhear her talking, and so Hansel plots a plan himself.

And he collects pebbles one evening, and so when he's led into the forest by his stepmother and father, he drops a pebble.

Then Hansel and Gretel are left in the forest, and Hansel uses his pebbles to return home.

This then repeats again the next day, and as you can see the stepmother is not pleased to see them in that picture on the bottom here.

And so the next day the stepmother plots a similar plan, and she sends them into a forest again.

But this time, Hansel takes some bread with him, and he drops breadcrumbs all the way home.

But unfortunately, the birds in the forest eat the bread crumbs.

So Hansel and Gretel are stuck in the forest, and they can't find their way home.

But then, as they are walking, they come across a house made out of sweets, cake, and bread.

And they are so hungry that they can't resist, so they take a bite.

And, well, we discussed already, would you take a bite? And then there was a witch.

This is a witch's house.

And she lures them into her house, and then she traps them.

And she puts Hansel in a cage.

Over time she decides that she is going to eat Hansel, and so she starts her oven.

But Gretel is no fool, and Gretel tricks the witch, and ends up with the witch inside the oven.

And so the ending is a happy ending, as Hansel and Gretel return home, and they are greeted by their father.

And the stepmother has also died.

Now I found that really interesting that when the witch dies, so does the step mother.

And this led me to think, because it's never really said, and that's the thing with picture books, sometimes you have to look for the clues.

This led me to think about the witch and the stepmother, and so I started generating my own questions.

And one of them was, is the witch the same person as the stepmother? And we sort of discussed this, or I made you think about this in the previous lesson.

So now we're going to think about our key question.

And this is our key question, and I want you to think about it now.

And I want your response today.

Do you think the stepmother and the witch are actually the same character? What do you think? Just tell me straight away, what was your response to that? Shout it out.


Okay, so some of you might not be sure, or some of you might be really certain that you think it is.

And now we're going to think about why, as a reader, we might think this.

And how Anthony Browne, he kind of might craft the story to make us make these associations and these links.

In reading we always make links between what we've read previously, and links between the order of the story.

So we're going to, really today, we're going to delve deeper into this question, and to do that we're going to unpick the text.

So I want you to help me in answering this question today.

If we think about fairy tales, we know that Hansel and Gretel is an old fairy tale, and that Anthony Browne has written his interpretation of it.

And he's added his own illustrations.

But what we know about fairy tales already is that they're full of repetition, and it's this repetition that almost makes them rhythmic and sequential.

They always kind of repeat the events.

This helps the reader to be able to predict what might happen.

We also know that in fairy tales, there is always good versus evil, and there's kind of like this ongoing clash happening.

And we've discussed already how we think the witch and the stepmother are the evil characters in the fairy tale.

But perhaps what Anthony Browne, and what "Hansel and Gretel" is showing is that this is actually the stepmother and the witch are one evil.

So let's have a look now and well, just always remember to keep those two ideas in your head.

Before we do anything, it's always good to activate our prior knowledge.

So our prior knowledge is what already exists.

What you know already about the stepmother and the witch.

What you know already about fairy tales.

So I want you to have a think here, and what I'd like you to do is write down everything you already know about each of the characters.

Now this doesn't need to be neat.

You can just jot your ideas, just like I have done.

I've just done a bullet point And I just want you to tell me everything you know about them already.

And then if there's any links, perhaps you could just underline what they have in common.

So I've said the stepmother is selfish because she plots up a plan to abandon the children.

Now how does the witch respond to the children? Does she like them? Does she want them around? And what else do you know about each of these characters? What do they say? How do they react? So pause the video here, and spend a few minutes just writing down all your ideas.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

Now we're going to come back to this later in the lesson, so just keep that with you, in front of you.

Now we're going to start analysing the text, and I'm going to draw your attention to something because you might not have picked up on this.

I want you to think about a repetition, and remember I said sometimes in fairy tales, repetition is used to help us draw links between what we've read and between characters.

So I'm going to read you something that the stepmother says, and then something that later in the story, the witch says.

So the stepmother, when she wants to get the children to go into the forest, she wakes them up, and this is what she says to them.

'Get up, you lazy bones.

We must go into the forest to fetch wood.

' She gave them each a small piece of bread saying, 'here's something for you to eat, but don't have it too soon for you'll get nothing else.


How does she talk to the children? How would you feel if you spoken to like that? I think she's quite rude because I think calling someone a lazy bones is a bit rude.

And also why does she say they'll get no more food? Doesn't sound like she's being a very kind stepmother.

Then the witch later on says this.

'Get up, lazy bones.

Fetch some water and cook something nice for your brother.

When he's fat enough, I shall eat him.

' Now what do you notice about what they both say to the children? Why is it important perhaps, this repetition? What does it tell the reader? What do you think Anthony Browne is trying to show the reader by using this repetition? So pause the video here.

And just either say an answer, or write a few ideas down.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So I thought it was really interesting he uses the exact same repetition for lazy bones.

And what else I thought was really interesting is this repetition is drawing my eye, my attention to the fact that they are the same, perhaps the same character.

They are definitely linked, aren't they? We kind of suddenly go, 'whoa,' when we realise the witch is saying exactly what the stepmother has already done.

And it's these clues that the author has given the reader that really help us start to make links in what we've read.

But Anthony Browne also uses a lot of illustrations, and I love looking closely at his illustrations.

I've read this book over and over again, and actually all Anthony Browne's books need more than one reading because when you look really closely in the illustrations you see lots and lots of clues and hints.

And I think it's really clever.

I would suggest that whenever you read a picture book, you really look closely.

Spend a few minutes on each page.

Read it once.

Read it twice.

And as I said before, Anthony Browne's books are some of the best for illustrations.

I find them so exciting to read.

I've thoroughly enjoyed looking really closely through all the pictures in his books.

So we're going to think about how Anthony Browne has used the pictures in this version of Hansel and Gretel to maybe show us that the stepmother and the witch are linked.

Let's think first of all though, what impression of the stepmother do you get here? Look at her closely.

Why is she leading the group? And what do her clothes tell you about her? Look at her clothes compared to the rest of the family's.

So pause the video here, and just have a think about those questions now.

Well done.

What did you notice? I noticed that she's leading the group.

This suggests to me she's absolutely in charge.

Isn't she? She looks determined.

She's walking with determination.

Whereas the father, he looks a bit sad.

It doesn't look like he wants to follow her.

She's also really glamorously dressed.

Now they're living through a famine, which means they don't really have any money or any food.

And she has enough money to spend on herself though, whereas Hansel's clothes are really dirty, as are the father's.

So they haven't even washed their clothes.

So the stepmother's only really caring about herself.

And so, as I said, she is leading because she is in charge.

Look closely at this picture.

How does it make you feel this time? And why do you think the stepmother is dressed in black? I really always look at the shadow here, and the hat.

What's just above the shadow? What does that make you- Look.

What does that remind you of? Now if you don't look closely at this picture, you miss it, so you always have to look closely at illustrations.

Pause the video here, and take a minute to see what I'm talking about.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So you can see that she is A, towering over the children which makes her look really intimidating and threatening.

She's kind of got that stance that people use when they're really scary.

And she's in black because she's meant to be evil.

Now did you spot it? What else was I talking about? In the shadow, the curtain is kind of put into a triangle which shows it is almost like a witch's hat.

Did you spot it? I wonder if you saw that? If you haven't, it's always so exciting when you see something new.

Now the first time I read "Hansel and Gretel", I didn't see that at all, so it's just looking at what was happening in front of me.

The next time, when I looked really closely, I could see that her shadow is like a witch, so to me this shows that Anthony Browne is trying to make a point that the stepmother is the same character as the witch.

Now you couldn't have missed this picture.

What do you notice about these two pictures, and what do they tell us about the stepmother and the witch and how they are linked? Look at their facial expressions, if anything.

So pause the video here, and just spend a few minutes looking at that picture.

Well done.

What did you notice, I wonder? So there's lots here, isn't there? I really like seeing the similarities between these two pictures.

Anthony Browne is purposefully doing this.

He wants us to see the similarities between the two characters, so he's used the same image, or the same stance as how they're stood, to make us kind of see what they're like.

They both almost guard their houses, don't they? It looks like they are in charge of the house, standing and watching out.

And so they want rid of the children.

This makes me think that they are the evil in the fairy tale.

Also, they're both kind of wearing black, or wearing dark colours.

The witch is what we would think is a typical witch in a fairy tale.

She's almost got red eyes.

She's got the cat.

She's also got the witch's hat.

Whereas the stepmother, perhaps we wouldn't notice as a witch, but behind her you can see this looming darkness of the forest.

And she's dressed all in black.

They both make me feel a bit scared, to be honest.

And I think if I met either of them, I might be a bit nervous.

I'm not sure I would've eaten their cake, in the house.

I wonder if you would've done? And so I think Anthony Browne, through these two images, is really trying to make us see that the witch and the stepmother are similar characters.

So what happens to the witch at the end of the story? And what happens to the stepmother? Are we even told what's happened to the stepmother? Pause the video here, and try and remember what happens at the end.

And press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So we learned that the witch dies.

We know that because we see that happen.

And we know that Hansel, Gretel even, puts her into the oven, and they are relieved that she has died.

Then the children find their way home.

And we are simply told the stepmother has also died, but we are not given any more detail than that.

We don't know why.

We don't know how.

Which is a bit strange, isn't it? It was a main character at the beginning of the fairy tale, and now we're simply told that she is dead.

We're happy about it because then it's our happy ending that we want in a fairy tale.

What do you think then happened to the stepmother? What do you think's happened to her? Pause the video here, and just tell me your answer.

And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

I agree.

I think that because the witch has died this means that the stepmother has died, as well.

And I think the author is purposefully not telling us how the stepmother has died, so we think for ourselves.

We fill in the gaps in our reading, and this is what makes it such an enjoyable story to read because the reader has to do so much of the detective work.

We have to work out the meaning for ourselves.

The author just presents lots of ideas, lots of images, and they don't always tell us what these links are.

And so I love this type of story because I have to do all the work.

So now what I'd like you to think about is coming back to that main question.

Can you, now, write down, or add to, this image.

Remember that we started this at the beginning of the lesson, and we wrote down everything we know about each of the characters.

Can you add, now, all the links that you've made, and show me what you now know about the characters, and their similarities.

And then press pause, and press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

I'm sure you've got lots of ideas.

Here are some of mine.

We know that they both are selfish.

The stepmother wants to get rid of the children.

The witch also wants to get rid of the children.

She wants to eat them, okay? So she's only taking care of the children in order to eat them.

So they are both really selfish, aren't they? We know that the stepmother is rude and cruel to the children.

She calls them lazy bones.

She says they are idiots, and she uses really horrible language towards them.

And the witch says exactly the same.

She says that they are lazy bones, as well.

And that repetition that we had between the lazy bones really started to make me think that these are the same characters.

Both of them trick the children, as well.

So the stepmother tries to trick the children, but she fails.

And the stepmother tries to trick the children, and she also fails.

And they both die at the end, and like I said before, we're left with this kind of uncertainty over why the stepmother has died.

And so this leads us to believe that she is the same character as the witch.

And, of course, all of Anthony Browne's fantastic imagery makes us start to see these links, as well.

That perhaps both these characters are the evil character in "Hansel and Gretel".

So do you think the stepmother and the witch are the same character? So I'd like you to write a written response now.

And would I like you to start with 'I think because,' and I want you to explain your answer.

So give reasons why.

So use everything we've done in this lesson to help you write an extended response.

So press pause here, and then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So congratulations! You've completed your lesson today.

I've been really impressed, and I hope you've enjoyed making these links and looking at the imagery a little bit more closely.

Sometimes we always just focus on the actual story, and the writing, and we miss the imagery.

But looking at all these illustrations that Anthony Browne has done, is really fun and entertaining.

So I hope you have enjoyed the lesson, and good luck with the rest of your lessons today.