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Children of the Silk Road (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG465

This study guide to accompany Children of the Silk Road (Roger Spottiswoode, 2008) has been written for secondary students from the middle to senior years. It provides information and suggestions for learning activities in English, History, Literature, Religious Education, SOSE/HSIE and Media.

In completing the tasks, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • analyse, interpret and evaluate the views and values of a text in terms of the ideas, social conventions and beliefs that the text appears to endorse, challenge or leave unquestioned;
  • analyse the construction of a non-print text and comment on the ways it represents an interpretation of ideas and experiences;
  • respond to a text both personally and in detached and critical ways;
  • use their own written and spoken texts to explore concepts and ideas and to clarify their own and others' understanding.

Inspired by a true story, Children of the Silk Road is an account of English journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyer) and his mission to save a group of orphaned children by leading them on an extraordinary journey through war-ravaged China. The film begins with George's arrival in Shanghai in 1937. Hungry for adventure, George and Barnes (David Wenham), a more experienced war correspondent, talk their way into the Japanese occupied territory of Nanjing. George explores the ruined city and witnesses a massacre of Chinese men, women and children. As he watches terrified, he photographs the brutal and senseless loss of innocent lives. Shortly after, George is captured and questioned by the Japanese. As he is about to be executed, a group of Chinese guerrillas, headed by 'Jack' Chen (Chow Yun Fat), rescue him. They are unable to save Barnes from execution and only narrowly escape.

Days later George awakes in a makeshift field hospital. He has been cared for by Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell), a self-trained American nurse. She suggests that George recuperates in a place known as Huang Shi. It is there that George finds his real calling.

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