CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Lesson Plan:

For Teachers - Pierre Trudeau: Politician as Celebrity

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Social Studies
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 1 lesson
Purpose: To compare and contrast the importance and appeal of different kinds of public figures
Summary: Students compare and contrast the appeal of political leaders like Pierre Trudeau with today’s celebrities.

Before Exploring

Ask students to name some important political leaders in Canada today. Then ask them to name some of their favourite celebrities. Ask the class to describe the similarities and differences between those two categories of public figures. Ask them if they think it is possible that any current Canadian political figure could be seriously compared to a celebrity, and why or why not. Tell students that there was once a Canadian political leader who was thought of in this way, explain the term "Trudeaumania" to them, and tell them that they will be analyzing a variety of media clips to compare and contrast Trudeau to a celebrity.

Outline the Opportunity

Have students make a list of favourite music or film stars, or other celebrities. Then have them spend about 30 minutes on the topic Trudeaumania: A Swinger for a Prime Minister on the CBC Digital Archives website, paying special attention to the scenes where he interacts with people in public appearances. Ask them to make notes about similarities or differences between these images and any recent images they know that involve a celebrity or a politician. They can use the list of focus questions on the Download sheet. 

Revisit and Reflect

Have students form groups to discuss their reactions to the video and audio clips, and the notes they have made on them. Each group should formulate a response to one of the focus questions on the Download sheet.


Have students write a paragraph explaining which of their favourite celebrities they think should enter politics, and explain their choice.

Download PDF