to Acadiana: Belizaire, the Sequel
OAK PARK MIDDLE MIDDLE
|How did we become Cajuns? The lesson gives students the
opportunity to explore the historical origins of the
Acadians/Cajuns of Acadie/Louisiana, the results of ethnic
persecution of the Cajuns in the 18th century, and the importance
of their preservation of the French culture in Louisiana.
During the study of Acadian culture, history, and folklore the
students will view the movie by Glen Pitre, Belizaire the Cajun
set in 1859 Vermilionville in southwest Louisiana. Following the
movie they will write a sequel to the movie 'completing' all the
storylines that were left hanging at the conclusion of the movie.
They will also move the storyline to Vermilionville 1861 after
Louisiana seceeded from the Union.
Duration: (6) 45 minute class periods
- History: Time, Continuity, and Change
Students develop a sense of
historical time and historical perspective as they study the
history of their community, state, nation, and world.
perspective through the political, social, and economic
context in which an event or idea occurred;
analyzing the impact that
specific individuals, ideas, events, and decisions had on the
course of history;
conducting research in efforts
to answer historical questions;
describing the contributions of
people, events, movements, and ideas that have been
significant in the history of Louisiana;
examining folklore and
describing how cultural elements have shaped our state and
- Historical Thinking Skills
Compare and contrast events
and ideas from Louisiana’s past and present, explaining
political, social, or economic contexts
Analyze the causes,
effects, or impact of a given historical event in Louisiana
- English/Language Arts : Standard 2
Students write competently for a
variety of purposes and audiences.
- English/Language Arts : Standard 3
Students communicate using
standard English grammar, usage, sentence structure,
punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and handwriting.
- English/Language Arts : Standard 7
Students apply reasoning and
problem solving skills to reading, writing, speaking,
listening, viewing, and visually representing.
- Compose and edit a multi-page document with appropriate
formatting using word-processing skills. (e.g., menu, tool
bars, dialog boxes, spell check, thesaurus, page layout,
headers and footers, word count, margins, tabs, spacing,
columns, page orientation)
The student will... be able to create a timeline exploring
the events that lead to the deportation of Acadians.
The student will... be able to explain why family is so
important to Cajuns of today.
The student will... be able to explain what home remedies
are and how they are still used today.
The student will... view the movie with an eye towards
details, speech, settings, and characters for later use.
The student will... take the details from the movie and
transfer them into a 'followup' story based on the same
The student will... use computer publishing software to
write and edit their 'sequel' to the movie following guidelines
and character lists provided.
Materials and Resources:
VIdeo from National Park Service, " The Cajun Way, Echoes of
DVD of "Belizaire the Cajun" by Glen Pitre
Powerpoint of "How did we get to be Cajun?"
Handouts of Synopsis and characters
Handouts of assignment details
Tools and Materials:
Infocus/projection unit [if used]
Video of Belizaire
NPS film "The Cajun Way, Echos of Acadia"
Computers (both classroom and Lab)
Students should have a basic knowledge of Cajuns and where they
Belizaire Storyline: Vigilantes disturb a peaceful Cajun community
by accusing members of some families of stealing cattle. These
families are ordered into exile. One man, Hypolite Leger, refuses
to go.; His cousin is Belizaire Breaux, an herbal doctor who comes
to his aid. Belizaire has been treating Alida, the pregnant wife
of vigilante Matthew Perry. Alida is Belizaire's former
sweetheart, and Belizaire still cares about her a great deal. When
an "Americain" is found murdered, Hypolite Leger is
accused of the crime. Belizaire ultimately uses his
"medicaments" to reveal the identity of the true
1. Introdue lesson topic/GLEs
2. Show video "The Cajun Way, Echoes of Acadia"
3. As a closer ask students who forced the
Acadians out of their homes? Why did Evangeline cry under the oak
along Bayou Teche? What was the impact did this event have on
families here in Louisiana?
1. Wear Acadian outfit during introduction of lesson.
2. Use Power-point to set the stage of the early years of
the Acadians. Discuss early Acadian settlement, lifestyle,
problems with the British.
3. Have students complete a map handout of the Acadian
Triangle in Louisiana.
4. As a closer ask students what held these
Acadian families together? Who did the Acadians trade with? In
what year did the Great Deportation take place? What is Acadie
1. Collect homework (map)
2. Use powerpoint to discuss home remedies still in use
3. Discuss various home remedies that the student’s
grandparents might still use or believe in.
4. Have students make a list of remedies they have used or
heard of. Turn list in next day.
5. Discuss the story/video students will see, explain
terminology that will be used, who the characters are and how they
6. As a closer ask students what is the most
common home remedy today? What makes home remedies popular? Why do
you think home remedies still exsist today?
1. Collect home remedies
2. Ask students the meaning of “Traiteur/faith healer”,
home remedies”, “Vigilantes”, Acadian Triangle” and other
terms discussed yesterday.
3. Show the first third of the movie.
4. At end of first half of video, answer student questions
and review or discuss what they saw in terms of clothing, setting,
3. As a closer answer students questions and
review or discuss what they saw in terms of clothing, setting,
1. Discuss terms used in second part of video and
Belizaire's "medicaments". Also discuss why James refers
to Matthew's children as "bastard children" and the fact
that he does not want them to be considered legitimate because if
they are, they will inherent the plantation, not him.
2. Show second part of movie.
3. At end of second part of video, As a closer answer
students questions and review or discuss what they saw
in terms of who they think really was the killer, how they knew,
what will happen to each of the main characters.
1. Show final part of movie.
2. Distribute assignment handouts and discuss what students
are to do. Explain the term 'sequel' and the length of their
written 'sequel', the characters that must be covered, the proper
setting, and facts that teacher will be looking for.
3. Explain the need for a pencil rough draft BEFORE they
4. Hand out a copy of the grading rubric and discuss with
students exactly what teacher will be grading on.
5. Once story is typed students my then go to
Louisiana101.com/Belizairepics.htm to selected art to go with
6. Have student begin writing assignment in class.
Student's rough draft and final copies will be graded using a
rubric set up for this assignment.
Acadian Triangle Map and Home Remedies list will also be graded.
All students will be given additional class computer time between
end of movie and due date to complete assignment (lunch and
afterschool). Special Education students will be allowed to take
story and other materials back to their resource classrooms for
one on one help with assignment. Additional typing time will be
allowed on an as-needed basis.
by Greg English
[If possible, a field trip to Acadian Village in Lafayette,
Louisiana would be great. Much of Belizaire and parts of The Cajun
Way were shot there.]
Glen Pitre's Belizaire's Teacher's Guide
Cajun traditional healers: http://ccet.louisiana.edu/91.0%20Folklore_Archives/Freeman_Mary_Walter_Evelia.html
Belizaire Film Notes: http://www.geocities.com/parish_photogy/belizairenotes.html
Belizaire Lesson Notes: http://www.geocities.com/parish_photogy/ideas1850.html
Each year I have students write the 'ending' to this movie and
each year I get some of the most creative work of the year. There
are very little restrictions as to "where the story
goes" other than all characters must be accounted for and the
student must stay true to the time period.