The Deportation of the Acadians

Role Play

Duration: 20 minutes for the activity + time to prepare and present the oral presentations


To reflect on the experience of the Deportation through a role play and then to present it in an oral presentation.

Background information for the teacher

  • This activity is an excellent way to introduce the theme of the Deportation of the Acadians or of the displacement of other populations, or even to propose a theme to reflect on or a debate of ideas in class.
  • This activity aims to have the students realise the difficulties and anguish experienced by the Acadians during the Deportation. During the activity, each decision will have historically plausible consequences that will illustrate its unpredictability.
  • A search through the works of art (paintings, songs, texts, etc.) inspired by the Deportation, available in the Stories section: The Arts, will allow them to expand their knowledge and express what that event means to them.


  • Present the intended learning results.
  • Present the proposed activity.
  • Activate previous knowledge:
    • Identify a few key moments of Acadie's history.
    • Is the Deportation the key element of this history? Why?
    • What happened during the Deportation?
    • Do you know of works of art (paintings, songs, texts, etc.) that deal with the Deportation of the Acadians?
    • On a human scale, how does a deportation affect an individual and his family (exile, lost of family, death, assimilation…)?


  • Recall the start-up question:
    • What does the Deportation of 1755 mean to you? Justify.
  • Ask the students to do the task:
    • Do the role play.
    • In the Stories section, identify a piece of art (painting, song, text, etc.) that expresses what he/she felt during the role play and what the Deportation means to him/her.
    • Extend his/her knowledge of the Deportation (History section).
    • Prepare an oral presentation that justifies the work of art he/she chose to express what the Deportation meant to him/her. A few triggering questions:
      • Why did you choose that particular piece of art? Justify.
      • During the role play, how did you feel when you had to make the decisions? Why? (Make the student aware of certain historical restrictions that might have prevented him from attaining his goals; to be evaluated by consulting the History section)
      • Are deportations a thing of the past? Have you heard of other similar displacements of populations elsewhere around the world?


  • Recall the anguish and the unpredictability of the Deportation, for the Acadians who lived through it.
  • Remind them of the topical nature of this subject around the world.
  • Ask the student to reflect on what he/she felt during the role play:
    • What has he/she taken away from this experience?
  • Make the student aware of what he/she has learned and the method that has led to this new knowledge.

Essential and optional resources

Essential resources

  • Role play: The Deportation of the Acadians (Flash | HTML)
  • Web site: 1755: The History and the Stories
    Stories section; History section

Optional resources