French Neoclassical Genre


Students will demonstrate their understanding of the French Neoclassical “genre” guideline by modifying their fairytale to strictly either be a tragedy or comedy.



Materials Needed

· Bowl/hat
· Following terms on a strip of paper (one per):
o Tragedy
o Comedy
o High-class
o Middle-class
o Death
o Happy



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Inform students that they will be playing Charades. Have six volunteers draw their word from the bowl/hat. Once students have guessed the word, have the volunteer write the word on the board.
How to play Charades: without speaking, have volunteer gesture, signal, and act out the specified word until viewers can guess the term




Step 1:
· Once all the vocabulary words have been guessed and are written on the board, ask students if they notice a pattern or can make a connection
· If students are struggling, inform them that the “Tragedy” and “Comedy” refer to the two genres that existed during French Neoclassical theatre
· A tragedy dealt only with high society characters, and always ended tragically
· Comedy, on the other hand, dealt with middle to low-class characters, and always ended happily


Step 2:
· Explain to students that according to the French Academy, a good play never mixed the two genres
· Ask students for modern-day examples that break this rule (dark comedies)


Step 3:
· Have groups determine if they want their play to be a tragedy or a comedy
· Allow them time to make the necessary revisions to ensure that their play is not mixing genres


Step 4:
· As reinforcement, based on their decision of genre, give them exactly 2 minutes to determine their falling action
· Then have each group perform their falling action in 30 seconds
· Once all the groups have performed, discuss the genre that each group chose based on their performance




Give students the remainder of the time to continue working on and revising their script.




Participation: 5pts
Falling Action Performance: 5 pt
Total possible points: 10 pts



Breakdown of points for Falling ActionPerformance Points

Falling action adheres to the French Neoclassical genre guideline in 30 secs 5
Falling action does not adhere to the French Neoclassical genre guideline in 30 secs 0