Lesson video

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

In today's lesson, we're going to be exploring the themes of Mulan, which is a traditional tale, and we're going to be using the Oxford University Press version.

If you haven't watched the previous lessons then you should go back now and watch those first.

If you have the let's get started.

Okay, we're going to start today's lesson by introducing you to the main ideas or the key theme.

Then we're going to be looking at a question to help us answer the main idea today and then we're going to be responding to the text.

And this is when you bring your ideas to the lesson and when you think about your own opinion of something.

In the lesson today, you will need an exercise book or any paper that you have, a pen or a pencil and your brain.

I really want you to be working hard today.

We're talking about some big ideas and I want to know what you think about them.

And we're going to really unpick why Mulan is such an important traditional tale and I want you to be the one thinking about this, not me.

Now is also a really good time, if there are any distractions in the room, to pause the video here, remove those distractions and then press play when you ready.

Excellent, let's get going then.

So we're going to start today by introducing you to the idea of a key theme and also to recap what traditional tale is because this will help us in our understanding of themes.

So traditional tale is something that is retold and passed through generations.

Because of this, there are many different versions of traditional tales.

As I said previously today were using a version published by Oxford University Press.

But Mulan has been retold and remade in many different versions before.

Recently there has been a film made of Mulan as well because it gets retold and it gets passed through generations.

Generations are different people who have lived through different times.

So it could be your parents or your grandparents who have come before you.

And because it's passed through generations, it can slightly change.

And this means there are many different versions of each of these stories and each time someone retails it, it changes.

You can practise this by telling somebody close to you, the Tale of Mulan, and then asking them to pass it on.

The two of you will not do the exact same retelling.

You will change it slightly and you will emphasise different points in different scenes and that's how traditional tales develop over time.

They can be similar to fairytales, can they, can be set in ancient worlds where there are dragons and there can be some supernatural things as well some fantasy elements, but the most important thing about a traditional tale is it often teaches you a moral lesson or something that it wants the reader to know at the end of reading it.

And so we're going to be thinking about, what does Mulan teach us as a reader today? And to do this, we will need to look at the themes of Mulan the big ideas and the impact these have on their reader.

How do they affect the reader? What impression does it leave you with at the end? So my question to you now is this I'm going to read the last page of Mulan to you and I want you to think about Why Mulan's tale was told far and wide.

"The soldiers were so amazed "that they told Mulan's tale far and wide.

"The story of how a young girl became a warrior spread "from person to person, it crossed mountains "and oceans to many different countries".

So why it's so important that this story has crossed even mountains and oceans? And by that it mean, people have passed it through the mountains and through the oceans, it's gone over, gone international, it's gone all over the world.

And I bet if you asked somebody about the Tale of Mulan, they'd be able to tell you it as well.

It's really famous.

And I want us to think about why? Why is it such an important traditional tale today? To do that, we're going to be answering some questions.

First thing, we're going to think about the word "Hero" because Mulan is a hero.

And I want you to think about, what do you associate with this word? So what do you know already about heroes and do you know any heroes? What made them the hero in your opinion? So pause the video here complete a mind map for the word "Hero" that means you put everything you know about heroes down and press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So I thought of a few things a hero to me is someone who saves someone else, they put their own lives at risk to do so, they're admired for their courage, so that means their bravery and their outstanding achievements.

Now there was also superheroes and some of you might be more familiar with that.

The superhero is different to the hero because a superhero has superhuman qualities or powers that help them to be outstanding.

So like Spiderman or Batman.

They have superhero, superhuman qualities and these are what help them to be outstanding.

But Luna doesn't have that, she's just a girl.

So she is just a hero because she doesn't use any superhuman powers to do that.

As I'm here as I've been thinking about recently are the NHS heroes and you might have heard of them already, you might have even got involved in clapping for heroes, the NHS heroes.

So this might be something that you're familiar to as well.

And they are significant because they have shown courage in their outstanding loyalty to help and care for people who need them the most at the moment.

So now we think about that.

How has Mulan a hero then? And why maybe is she an unlikely hero? What heroes do you know in stories? Now let's narrow our ideas down.

What heroes do you know, in stories and why is Mulan different to them? So pause the video here, do the same task, but for Mulan and then press play when you're ready to resume.


So we're going to come back to this later on in the lesson.

We're going to have a go now looking a little bit more detail, about this question though.

So why does little brother call her a "Soppy girl"? What does he mean by this? Do you think it is okay for him to call her this? So I am now going to read you the extract and I want you to think about those questions as we answer them.

"Mulan spoke up bravely, ""I want to buy a saddle and horse.

""and I will go to the army in father's place".

"How does your brother laughed! ""Silly, silly, silly" he said, ""You're only a soppy girl"".

So why does little brother called her a "Soppy girl"? What does he mean by this? And do you think it is okay for him to call her this or not? Pause the video here, have a go at answering and then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So soppy, is a bit of a derogatory word to use.

It suggests she is weak.

He thinks he is stronger than her because he is a boy and I do not think this is a fair word to call her saying a girl is soppy 'cause he says, "soppy girl" so he's talking about all girls, not just her.

And I think Mulan proves girls are not soppy by becoming a warrior.

And perhaps this is why she's a hero because she proves that to all girls out there that they can be warriors too and they're not just viewed as soppy girls and they shouldn't be viewed as soppy girls by men either.

Now we're going to read again I'm going to read to you, then I want you to look at the question and answer it.

So "She used her spear to leap over her attackers.

"She danced her way past clumsy attacks.

"She hid under her shield then jumped out "to take her attackers by surprise.

"She earned the respect of her fellow soldiers.

"They still had no idea she was a young girl.

"They clapped her on her back and said, ""What clever tricks you use!"" So in the text it says "She earned the respect of her fellow soldiers".

What does this teach us about girls? What does the fact that she earned her the respect of other soldiers tell us that girls can do? So pause the video here and press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

So it shows us that they can be skilled soldiers and have as much strength and intelligence as men.

So just because she's a girl does not mean she can't be a strong soldier.

And so I think she's a hero because she teaches us this lesson.

Now we're going to think about this question.

Again I'm going to read the text to you first then the question, and then I'd like you to answer.

So "That was the first battle of many.

"She became a fine warrior.

"She became a leader.

"She survived one long year "two years, three years, four, five, "and six and seven and more.

"For 10 long years she survived".

So how does Mulan prove her worth? And by that, I mean, how does she gain respect? What does she do? How does she show everybody that she is important to the world? Press pause, think carefully about this question and then press play when you're ready to discuss it.

Well done.

So she becomes a great leader.

She became a great leader not only is she a firm warrior but she led others to success and she teaches us then that girls can be leaders.

So not only can girls be soldiers and warriors, but they can also lead an army, they can guide others.

And so I think she's a hero because she teaches us this lesson that girls can be as effective leaders as men.


Now I want you to think about everything we've just discussed.

And we're going to come back to this idea that we had before.

How has Mulan a hero? And why is she an unlikely hero? Compared to other stories that you've read, why is Mulan different? And why do you think then her tale is so important? So press pause, fill in your mind map and then press play when you're ready to discuss it.

Well done.

So I think that Mulan is a hero because she teaches us that girls can be warriors and heroic.

She risked her life for others and she becomes a great, great warrior and helps to win the war.

She also teaches us that girls can be leaders, girls can be soldiers, girls can be warriors no matter what society says.

To society is the people around her, her emperor.

She is an unlikely hero because she is a girl and girls weren't typically viewed in this way.

In stories, they often were not the ones to save the day, this was often a male role.

If you think of all our fairytales often it's the Prince Charming that comes to the rescue of Snow White or we hear in Sleeping Beauty again, the Prince comes to save her.

So often girls are seen as these weak beings but actually Mulan teaches us to be strong.

That girls can be intelligent, girls can be leaders.

And so this is why I think she's so important as a character.

So now we're going to bring all that, all those ideas together.

This was our key question.

Why do you think Mulan's tale was told far and wide? And what can we learn from it? Pause the video here and then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done.

Hopefully you've got a really clear understanding as to why this was such an important tale.

We're now going to look at the song that is sung about Mulan.

I've not shown you this before but I think this really helps to bring together the big ideas in this story.

"In Mulan's land people still sing about her.

"It is hard to believe that it could be so, "but now we have learned, now we know "not to judge people by how they look.

"You too can be a hero "and have your tale told or put in a book".

I really like this ending and I really like this song.

I think it brings together all the ideas in the story.

But what I'd like you to do now is we're going to look at this and this is a bit more detail.

I want you to think about what is it actually saying? And so I've thought of the big ideas in this story, some came from the song and some of my own and I want you to argue, which you think is most important.

So is it, this is like the bigger lesson you can learn from Mulan.

Is it not to judge people by how they look? Is it that anyone can be a hero? Is it that girls can be warriors? Or is it that it's good to question the world around you? That means it's good to say "No" sometimes and to do what you think is correct.

So Mulan defies the rules and she goes to war as a female even though everyone tells her not to, even though by the law, by rules she shouldn't have.

But she questioned the world around her, she said, "This isn't fair, I can do it" and then she proved to be really successful.

So, which do you think is most important and why? And this really is up to you what you think.

Pause the video here say which it is, and then explain in writing, why? And then press play when you're ready to continue.


So I don't actually, I'm not going to go over that one because this is very much your response, your opinion, and your opinion might be different to mine, but I want you to keep your opinion and not be swayed by mine because I think each of these are really important lessons from the book and the tale and whichever one you pick is the one that's most important to you.

So congratulations! You have completed your lesson today! Before you go, I would like you to pause the video and write down a sentence to describe Tale of Mulan.

Did you like it or not? And then press play when you're ready to resume.

Well done, I've really enjoyed this unit I am really enjoy reading the Tale of Mulan, is one that I've known for years, myself and is one that I will continue to pass on because I think it teaches us some really important lessons especially that anyone can be a hero and I think recently we've really learned that, that our heroes are all around us.

They're just ordinary people.

So I hope you've enjoyed today's lesson and I hope you take those messages with you and you have a really good day.