The Fox and the Child – a whimsical exploration of connections

fox and child togetherThis delightful film, created by Luc Jacquet and released in 2007, encourages students to consider the concept of belonging through an unlikely friendship. The English language version is narrated by Kate Winslet and, despite the slower than anticipated pace, captivates all students. Longer than a standard 50 minute lesson, every class who have begun viewing The Fox and the Child are very keen to ‘see how it ends’. An excellent opportunity for prediction exercises …

Fox and Child 5Consider using the opening ten minutes of the film as stimulus for creative writing – the tone and anticipation created by music engages students, whilst the narrative unfolds against a beautifully captured landscape. These activities have proven useful – students could:

  • suggest the age of the young girl

Fox and Child 3

  • describe the forest – pause film at different moments and encourage students to consider noting specific items / elements that would appeal to each of the five senses
  • describe the season – again, aim to appeal to each sense

Fox and Child 1

  • ask: which aspects of belonging are suggested? shared experiences, taming the wild, unusual connections, individuality, acceptance, relationships, isolation … how might these shift between the continuum of belonging _________ not belonging? how could this inform your narrative structure?
  • pause on different frames that utilise specific camera shots and angles – describe in close detail, with a focus on the tension / suspense / emotion created

Fox and Child 1a

Fox and Child 2

Fox and Child 4

  • consider how to use short sentences and structure to add tension to their narrative
  • consider which language features would best provide a sense of wonder and companionship
  • contrast the prevailing Australian perspective of ‘fox’ as an introduced species and pest with northern hemisphere notions of ‘fox’ as an indigenous creature

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