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Yasdan, a young boy who was born in Iran and did not start learning English until he was four, is shown reciting 'Macavity the Mystery Cat' by T. S. Eliot, on stage in front of a large audience. He performs the poem with a great deal of expression. We see him performing the poem at a party, and at home having a piano lesson. His father talks about how the family came to live in the village, and how Yasdan is the only Iranian child there. Finally, we see him winning a recital competition and being presented with a trophy by a panel of famous poets. First broadcast as part of the Off By Heart season.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
22 May 2009

Classroom Ideas

This clip can be used as part of a lesson on character development in creative writing. Pupils can explore how Yasdan relates to Macavity and, afterwards, be asked to recall what features of Macavity's personality he drew them to in his recital. Pupils can then be given a similar, character-based poem, either individually or in a group and asked to underline the most interesting features of the character within it before writing a description. They could then work on a performance similar to Yasdan's to translate to the class the most exciting aspects of their character.

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