Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Interviewing René Lévesque
Inform students that you are the current prime minister and that a televised news conference is now taking place in the classroom. The students are reporters and they must ask the prime minister questions about current political issues and problems. Spend a few minutes enacting this role-play activity. After a few minutes, explain that students will repeat this experience, this time attempting to interview one of Canada's most controversial politicians, René Lévesque.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic René Lévesque's Separatist Fight on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them review the topic thoroughly, noting in particular René Lévesque as he makes speeches and answers questions, often in highly charged situations. Each student will prepare five carefully worded, difficult questions to ask Lévesque, who will appear among them in a news conference. You (or a volunteer) will play the role of Lévesque. Have students pose the questions to the person role-playing Lévesque.
Revisit and Reflect
After the news conference, spend a few moments debriefing with the students. Ask:
- What makes a question a difficult one?
- What do politicians do to avoid answering difficult questions?
- Would you want to be a reporter or a politician? Why?
- What do you think of René Lévesque as a politician? Explain.
- What do you think of René Lévesque as a person? Explain.
You can tape the news conference for students to analyze. After reviewing the tape, students respond in writing to the first three questions from Revisit and Reflect.