Students will demonstrate their understanding of the French Neoclassic ideal “verisimilitude” by modifying their fairytale to be “true to life”.



Materials Needed

· Dictionary
· Verisimilitude worksheet   2. Verisimilitude Worksheet



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Play Augusto Boal’s, the bear of Poitiers (found in Games for Actors and Non-Actors by Augusto Boal, page 78)


How to play: “One participant is designated the bear of Poitiers (a French town where this game is played). She turns her back on the others, who are the foresters… After an interval, the bear must give vent to an enormous growl, whereupon all the woodcutters must fall to the ground and ‘play dead’, not making the slightest movement, absolutely motionless as if their life depended on it. The bear goes up to each one of them, growling at will, and touches, tickles prods, tries any trick she can think of to make them laugh, to make them move; in short, her goal is to force them to reveal that they are alive. When the bear succeeds, the forester who has given himself away becomes a second bear, and the two bears set off to do the same thing to the other foresters, who still try not to move. Eventually there are three bears, then four, and so on.




Step 1:
· Have a student read the definition of “verisimilitude” from a class dictionary
o Merriam-Webster: the quality or state of being verisimilar:
1 : having the appearance of truth
2 : depicting realism (as in art or literature)
· Ask students to connect their warm-up activity to this idea of “verisimilitude” (Probable response: this exercise was not true to life)


Step 2:
· Explain that verisimilitude was another criteria for a French Neoclassical “good” play


Step 3:
· Pass out the Verisimilitude worksheet:
· Have students identify and record the fantastic elements of their fairytale
· Then have them brainstorm and record possible realistic options to replace the fantastic elements




· Give students the remainder of the time to start rewriting their fairytale, incorporating each element from the previous lesson, and now realistic options to replace the unrealistic elements of the fairytale




Participation: 5pts
Verisimilitude worksheet: 5 pt
Total possible points: 10 pts