The Real King's Speech: Education Worksheet

Video highlights from The Real King's Speech

SCHOOL LEVEL Junior Secondary Senior Secondary

SCHOOL LEVEL          
Junior Secondary
Senior Secondary

EDUCATION DESCRIPTION

This program tells the true story behind the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech. Join Mark Logue, grandson of King George VI's speech therapist, as he discovers an extraordinary archive of letters between Lionel Logue and the King, as well as Lionel's diaries. In The King's Speech Revealed, Mark investigates Lionel’s extraordinary relationship with the king, beginning with his grandfather's family background in Australia. He discovers how Lionel's interest in stage performance leads to his recognition of the importance of addressing the psychological issues behind speech impediments. Mark follows his grandfather’s move to the UK where he began treating the future King, and meets with a former patient of Lionel's to learn more about his unusual techniques. He also joins screenwriter David Seidler and actor Geoffrey Rush to find out how the historical facts were used to make a multi-award winning film.

TEACHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

King George VI (‘Bertie’), Queen Elizabeth II’s father, reluctantly assumes the throne when his older brother, King Edward VIII, abdicates. Plagued by a severe stammer, he is considered unfit to be king when the country needs a wartime leader. How can he possibly inspire confidence in his countrymen when he’s afraid to speak to them?

Fortunately, the King engages the help of an unorthodox Australian expatriate.  So begins the incredible story of a remarkable friendship between a self-taught colonial speech therapist and the British monarch. Through a set of equally remarkable techniques, steely determination and a great degree of trust, Bertie finds his voice. Thus, with Logue by his side, he boldly leads the country through World War II, matching oratory techniques with his nemesis and master orator, Adolf Hitler.

In 2008, Mark Logue rediscovers his grandfather’s diaries, which had been locked away in an attic for 50 years. These meticulous records, along with letters from the King, enable him to piece together in detail the extraordinary relationship that developed between his grandfather and the King of England over a period of more than 25 years. Mark follows the King and Lionel’s relationship right up to Lionel’s death, a year after the King’s. The last exchange of letters between the two is particularly poignant, as they face their final illnesses.

Archival footage blends elements of history and civics to bring both the splendour of the monarchy and the horrors of war to life. Extracts from Logue’s letters and diaries illustrate the importance and fascination of reliable historical sources.


CURRICULUM POINTERS

Junior Secondary Curriculum

History is a disciplined inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. It develops understanding of cultural, social and political events, processes and issues that have shaped humanity from earliest times. It enriches our appreciation of how the world and its people have changed, and the significant continuities that exist into the present.
Australian History K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale


Senior Secondary Curriculum

The Modern History curriculum with its emphasis on world history aims at equipping students for the world in which they will live. It contributes to an understanding of past and present aspirations, predicaments, achievements and failures. … It includes studies of significant events, movements, individuals and groups that have shaped nation-states and the modern world. [Units 2a and 2b] The modern period has been marked particularly by revolution and conflict, and continuing efforts to secure world peace.
Australian Modern History Curriculum 2010: Rationale


CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Junior Secondary

In undertaking these tasks, students of History will:

•    Develop interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study
•    Develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society
•    Understand and use historical concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability
•    Undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, communication and explanation.
Australian History K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims


Senior Secondary

In undertaking these tasks, students of Modern History will:

•    Undertake historical inquiry, including skills in independent research, evaluation of sources, synthesis of evidence and communication of findings
•    Develop knowledge and understanding of the past, as well as an appreciation of how past events and forces have contributed to the present and inform the future
•    Develop analytical thinking using historical concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability.
Australian Modern History Curriculum 2010: Aims


STUDENT LEARNING TASKS

Junior Secondary

Task 1
Answer the following questions about the Australian man who became King George VI’s speech therapist. Do some research and then state source of your answers.

•    What was the Australian man’s name?
•    When and where in Australia was he born?
•    What did his parents do for a living?
•    Where was he educated and what were his qualifications?
•    When and why did he migrate from Australia to England?
•    What members of his family migrated with him to England?
•    Whereabouts did he set up his office in London?
•    What was his practice called?
•    What was his specialisation?
•    When, where and how did he die?

Task 2
Write a definition to explain the form of governance called a Constitutional monarchy. List the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations that are currently governed by the British Constitutional monarchy.

Task 3
As a young prince, George VI was second in line to the throne. However, he came to power in an unconventional and unexpected way. Explain the following:

•    The natural line of succession to the British throne
•    The events that bought George VI to the throne

Task 4
Under the reign of George VI, the United Kingdom was regarded as an Empire, and Australia as a Colony. Answer these questions to show your understanding of the relationship between an empire and a colony.

•    What is an empire?
•    What is a colony?
•    What is the role of the Governor General?
•    How was the Australian Constitution passed?
•    What is the Westminster style of Parliament?

Task 5
It was December 1936 when Prince Albert, Duke of York, became King George VI of England. Events in Europe at that time meant that the United Kingdom needed a very strong leader. Describe in 100 words what was happening in Europe and why the King’s public speeches were so important to the British society.


Senior Secondary

Task 1
Define the following terms:

•    Empire
•    Monarchy
•    Commonwealth
•    Colony

Write a paragraph about each of these terms in relation to England and Australia during the reign of King George VI.

Task 2
Describe how British succession to the throne is arranged. Explain the circumstances that lead to Prince Albert coming to the throne in such an unconventional and unexpected way.  

How is succession to the throne protocol practised today? Describe any changes that have been made since 1936 and state the social values that may have influenced the succession ritual.

Task 3

Research the following aspects of Lionel Logue to learn about his life and character:

•    Parental family
•    Childhood in Australia  
•    Educational qualifications
•    Personality traits
•    Career aspirations

In a 250-word essay describe how these influences lead him to be the chosen speech therapist of the King of England.

Task 4
King George VI and Lionel Logue had many personal differences. Draw up a table of two columns to compare and contrast these differences: (add 3 more of your own ideas about their differences)

•    Age
•    Personality
•    Health
•    Nationality
•    Wealth
•    Influence
•    Rank in society

Task 5
Europe was on the brink of a major upheaval as King George VI came to the throne in 1936. The speech delivered by the King to his empire at that time was critically important.

Describe in 250 words the reasons why the speech made by King George VI from Buckingham Palace on September 3rd 1939 had to be strong, loud, clear and inspiring.
What therapy did Lionel Logue use to assist the King to succeed in accomplishing this task?

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