Student handout 2: Freedom
Exploring the text
1. Rule a column on a piece of paper and write down the advantages and the disadvantages of each dog's way of life.
- How is the city dog's freedom limited? What factors restrain his freedoms? What freedoms has he lost? What has he gained?
- Debate which dog has the better life.
- In what ways is poverty a chain that restricts our freedom?
- Why does the city dog see himself as superior?
- What words are used to describe the man in the story? What role does he play in the city dog's life?
- Why is the city dog unfree?
- What does the village dog envy about the life of the city dog?
- What changes the village dog's mind about working with the city dog?
- What lesson does this fable teach?
- The village dog values his freedom more than regular food. What would you value?
Working beyond the text
2. What is freedom like for you? Complete the following mind map to show what you think.
Compare your findings with other students in your group. What did you have in common? What was different?
3. Freedom is ‘...being allowed to sing in my bath as loudly as will not interfere with my neighbour's right to sing a different tune in his’. (Tom Stoppard, an English playwright, from http://www.askoxford.com)
- What does Tom Stoppard mean by this?
- In what ways are your freedoms limited?
- Do limits on freedom make us more free or less free?
4. What does freedom mean to you?
Complete the following table to chart this.
What freedom meant to me at ...
5. Australian Freedoms Interview
- Conduct an interview with a parent or guardian. Ask them: What freedoms are the most important for you?
- Discuss and list the sorts of freedom that are important to Australians (for example freedom of speech).
- Are some freedoms more important than others?
- Do some freedoms clash with other freedoms? How can we resolve these clashes?
6. Songs of Freedom
Collect the lyrics of as many songs as you can find about freedom. What ideas do they have in common? Play one or two of your favourites, if possible, to the class.
7. Freedom Fable
Write your own fable, set in contemporary Australia, about the importance of freedom to you.
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