Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Versions of Mordecai Richler
Play or read aloud a profile of an individual, possibly someone already studied in class. Brainstorm with the students the elements of a biography or profile and list them on the board or chart paper for reference.
Outline the Opportunity
If students have not already
completed other activities on Mordecai Richler, have them spend about 30
minutes scanning the topic Mordecai
Richler Was Here on the CBC Digital Archives website to gather information
about Richler. Students may work in groups or individually, and you may choose
to assign specific aspects of Richler's life, such as his years in Paris, his
family life, or his experiences as a Canadian from Montreal.
select an approach and focus for their biography. For example, they can use his
life as a guide on "How to Be a Successful Canadian Writer," they can dramatize
major episodes in his life, or they can create a "sound" biography, where
musical instruments, background music, or other sound effects form an
atmosphere that is appropriate for his life. Encourage creativity and
The final profile should be about three minutes long. Students will record information from the CBC archive site and use the download sheet Versions of Richler to plan their profile. Students can film or tape their profile, or they may present it live.
Revisit and Reflect
Ask students to present their profile to the class. Have students work in small groups to discuss the various interpretations of Richler's life and what was effective and why.
Some critics have suggested that Richler's novels are autobiographical. Students can read some of his works and keep a reading-response journal that reflects on the autobiographical aspects.