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S4 Resource for the French animation film 'La Revolution des Crabes'


Title of film: 'La Revolution des Crabes'

Synopsis: “La Revolution des Crabes” is a flash-based, black and white short film that offers an irresistible and very personal, vision of Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species. Inspired by philosophy, this revolution of crabs cannot withstand determinism: ‘Born in the mud, Pachygrapsus Marmoratus, you will remain a useless link in the chain of evolution’. Such is the moral of the story told by an anti-conformist crab: it is impossible to transcend one’s destiny.

Genre: Animated drama

Language: French

Age group: S4

Place in MFL scheme of work: The suggested time to use the film is at the end of S4 before making course choices for S5

Cross-curricular connections: Literacy, Creativity

Curriculum for Excellence Outcomes

Note: The suggested age group for this resource is considered to be S4 (and above). There are currently no explicit Modern Language Outcomes that specifically target this age group. Modern Language Outcomes currently stop at the 4th Level which broadly equates to Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 4. This situation may in the future change - Modern Language Outcomes above the 4th Level may come on stream. In saying this, teachers wishing to use the resource for S3 or S4 may wish to do so according to these identified Modern Languages / Literacy Outcomes:

MLAN 3.08a - I work on my own and with others to understand text using appropriate resources. I can read and demonstrate understanding of more complex texts which contain familiar and unfamiliar language.

LIT 4-07a - I can show an understanding of what I listen to or watch by giving detailed, evaluative comments, with evidence, about the content and form of short and extended texts.

MLAN 4-13b - I can write about experiences, feelings and opinions and can offer reasons for having those opinions.

Resources required (including technology)

French language version of film, which can be downloaded from the film page.

English subtitled version of film, which can be downloaded from the film page.

Computer, data projector & screen or computer & IWB.

Copies of relevant worksheets from this lesson guide can be downloaded from the 'Attached Files' block on this page.


Suggested Activities:

Prior activities/Before viewing

Think about the following themes:

  • How much of life is predestined?
  • Keeping on the straight and narrow
  • Choices that we have in our own lives
  • Course choices for the future


Read through the list of 'Quotes on choices' and the 'short account of the film' and discuss them briefly.


During the film-

  • Take a note of any vocabulary that you are not familiar with.
  • Write down any themes that you think emerge from the film.
  • Place your hand on the table and move your fingers. Like these type of crabs your fingers will move only in the same type of direction.

Main Activities

Carry out a detailed 'Grid Analysis' (Similarities, Surprises, Patterns and Puzzles) on the film in French.

You may want to pay particular attention to the idea of similar and repeating actions, and the balance the film strikes between the human world and that of the crabs.

Then discuss the various themes raised in the film once again.

Reprise the discussion on issues of choice.

Extension activities

La marche du crabe translation activity and story board creation

La revolution des crabes translation exercise and short essay


All these activities would take place over a period of three/four lessons on the film depending on work-rate of the Standard Grade class.

Watch Arthur de Pins other two short films on YouTube (if you can) and compare and contrast his works. (Geraldine and L’eau de Rose)

Lesson Guide complied by Mairi Clement, Modern Languages Teacher, St. Margaret's Academy, Livingston