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Helping Aussies leave the kitchen table

Mark Knight, May 6, 2021 6:45PM Kids News

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Part of Mark Knight’s cartoon. media_cameraPart of Mark Knight’s cartoon.

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Victorians were locked down for so long and so many times since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that getting us to leave the house is proving difficult! In Victoria and even around the rest of the country, the new normal for a lot of people is working from home. Or if you’re a tertiary* student, studying from home.

School kids are back in the classroom, which is a start on our return to the new COVID “normal” but now governments want to get workers back out there. This will help drive our economic* recovery.

The city of Melbourne still resembles a ghost town in part due to workers not returning to their offices. This is bad for the cafes, hotels, shops and services that city workers use. So governments are introducing policies* to encourage us to get back to work.

I love to draw scenes of lockdown life and when I heard that the Federal government was going to increase childcare support for working families, it was a great opportunity for me to take a snapshot in a cartoon of how life has changed.

Increasing childcare payments means that parents can afford to go back to work and put their young kids in childcare, which normally is very expensive. It will also help with breaking people’s resistance to go back to work.

But in the cartoon I question just how easy it will be for people to get out of their tracksuits and put on a tie or a skirt. Shoes even! In the cartoon I illustrate how working from the kitchen table has become the norm. Zoom meetings in your underpants is a common occurrence.

We see the woman in the cartoon working on her laptop with the family cat on her lap. This habit will be hard to break, as you can’t take your moggy to the office. Maybe a policy that you can take your moggy to the office will get workers back!

Governments and city councils are going to have to work hard. Those tracksuits and Ugg boots are going to be hard to shift!

Mark Knight’s cartoon. Right click to open in new tab and view full size. media_cameraMark Knight’s cartoon. Right click to open in new tab and view full size.

GLOSSARY

  • tertiary: after secondary school, such as university
  • economic: to do with business, jobs and money in a community, state or country
  • policies: a plan for action

EXTRA READING

Who’s most excited about going back to school

Unmasked! Aussies’ great effort in the pandemic

Big thrill when coronavirus vaccine arrived

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What is the name of the cartoonist?
  2. Who wrote this article?
  3. In one sentence, describe what is happening in the cartoon.
  4. What item of clothing is the man missing?
  5. What does he have on his head?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. What Happens Next?
Imagine this cartoon is part of a story that is made up of three cartoons. The three cartoons tell a complete story, and Mark’s cartoon is the start of the story. Think about what the story could be and draw the next two cartoons that tell the story.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
‘To be a great cartoonist, being able to draw is only one of the skills that you need.’

Write a list of all of the other skills that you think cartoonists like Mark need to do their job. Next to each skill, write a sentence that explains why that skill is important or helps them to do a great job.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability, Media Arts, Visual Communication Design

VCOP ACTIVITY
Stretch your sentence
Find a ‘who’ in the cartoon. A person or animal.

Write it down.

Add 3 adjectives to describe them better.

Now add a verb to your list. What are they doing?

Add an adverb about how they are doing the action.

Using all the words listed, create one descriptive sentence.

Extra Reading in news