Implementation of “An Interview with Madame Bovary” (SOI-HR-334)

Author: Mirna Glavan Grbeš, Croatian language and History teacher

School/Organization: Prva srednja škola Beli Manastir

In the second grade of three-year school program CNC-operator, during Croatian language lesson, Gustav Flaubert’s novel “Madame Bovary” is analyzed on the excerpt from the beginning of the novel in which we meet Emma, ​​the main heroine or anti-heroine (!?) of the novel. 

We find out that she is dissatisfied with her own life and she longs for a change. 

The fact that Flaubert’s novel is extremely important because with its publication European modernism began and it openly talks about the topics of morality and marriage for which he ended up in court, encouraged me to find a way to better familiarize students with the content. 

Marijana Trinajstić’s learning scenario had all I wanted to show to my students – connecting the character, the novel in the context, various digital tools, collaborative learning, and the development of critical thinking. 

Class implementation

The LS was implemented in the second grade of CNC-operator, students aged 17, which coincides with the age of the students in the original learning scenario. 

We followed all activities planned by the initial LS and concluded that the teaching contents were presented very interestingly and educationally. 

The scenario was chosen by the pupils. They were offered three different scenarios for three lessons from different literary periods. The students were already familiar with the platform and chose this teaching scenario by voting on the Mentimeter. 

QR code for voting – Mentimeter, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

                                    Voting statistics – Mentimeter, Mirna Glavan Grbeš                                 

There are 8 boys in the class, and it was interesting to analyze their attitudes toward the character of Emma, a woman who did not follow social norms and submissively “served” her husband. 

Teacher’s remark

  • During the previous lessons, the students covered the topics of interviews and fake news.
  • In the lesson before, students were introduced to Gustave Flaubert and the novel “Madame Bovary”. They also investigated the timing and characteristics of European modernism.
  • The difference between the original LS and this one, conducted at our school, is that we were in the classroom, considering that school was no longer online.
  • The time used in the activities is equal to the time in the original LS. The only change is that we increased the activity during which we discussed the characteristics of heroines and anti-heroines in literature from 5 to 15 minutes, but we shortened the last evaluation by 10 minutes and the overall time remained the same.

Advance organizer

After greetings and an explanation of the aim of the lesson, the teacher presented the chosen Europeana pictures by sharing them on a projector. The students had to choose whom they wanted to meet and explain why.

Advance organizer – Would you like to meet the women/men in the picture? Why?, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Advance organizer – Would you like to meet the women/men in the picture? Why?,
Mirna Glavan Grbeš

The clickbait

The teacher instructed students to make a clickbait for a chosen picture and put it on Padlet. The teacher created the Padlet earlier and displayed the QR code for access on the projector.


QR code for clickbaits, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Student’s voting 

The students voted for the most likely clickbait and the teacher picked up the three most liked titles and shared them on the screen.

Top three student’s clickbaits – Padlet, Mirna Glavan Grbeš 

Clickbait or truth? 

In the next activity, students worked in pairs, and they put themselves in a position of an interviewer, and the character from the picture. They presented the answers in a way in which the clickbait becomes the truth. Through this activity, they repeated the characteristics of fake news and how to recognize them. 

Truth in clikbaits – Padlet, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Clickbait with the highest number of votes, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Peer assessment

Peer (oral) assessment was done through a table that the teacher showed on the projector.

Emma as a hero or anti-hero

The professor briefly repeated the terms literary hero and anti-hero with the students. After that, the students watched the video clip and the Europeana blog. Both materials were available via a QR code displayed on the projector (change time from 5 to 15 min). 

Hero or anti-hero?, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Imaginary interview with Emma

Each student wrote an imaginary interview with Emma and attached it to the Padlet (QR code on the projector). The students were instructed to come up with two questions and guess two answers that Emma would give. Through this activity is visible the student’s attitude about whether Emma is the heroine or the anti-heroine of the novel.

Imaginary interview with Emma Bovary, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Interview with Emma Bovary – Padlet, Mirna Glavan Grbeš

Examples of interviews, Mirna Glavan Grbeš 

Emma as a anti-hero 

The students explained their questions. The conclusion is that, for most, Emma is an anti-hero because she did not leave her husband with whom she was unhappy, but instead tried to achieve happiness in immoral ways. Everyone agrees that a woman should fight for herself, her rights, and her equality with men, but they condemn immorality and think that there is no justification for Emma’s behavior.

Peer assessment 

Peer (oral) assessment was done through a table that the teacher showed on the projector (rubrics for peer assessment for interview

Class implementation

Students developed critical thinking and were encouraged to cooperate and accept different points of view. The work is focused on problem-based learning and joint achievement of results. Components of media and computer literacy are developed. The lesson contains numerous activities related to computers and various online programs including searching for free-to-use images in the Europeana Collections, Padlet for interactive material and Mentimeter for feedback. 

Student’s remarks

The students found this LS interesting, and the tasks were very clear and precise. There was no vagueness, and they completed all activities successfully. They are satisfied with this way of working, in which a problem is presented to them, and then they independently research and collect data. It is good that 30 minutes of preparation are included in the LS because that time can be used to familiarize students with the teachwitheuropeana platform. The students in my class already used the platform, so it was not necessary, but it certainly is for those who are not yet familiar with this data source. I used the preparation time to repeat the content from the previous lessons related to this LS (interview, European modernism, fake news). The creation and debunking of fake news were the most interesting parts of LS for the students, and they confirmed that they understand how often they encounter fake news on social networks and now recognize them. They are also interested in the character of Emma Bovary and the fact that they could decide for themselves whether she is a heroine or an anti-heroine for them. The discussion was very dynamic with well-argued positions.


Gustave Flaubert’s novel ’Madame Bovary’ is part of the Croatian language curriculum for the second grade in a three-year school program. More specifically, the novel is part of the literature teaching unit European Realism and is analyzed in a fragment. At the same time, the language teaching unit is Interview – verbal and non-verbal communication and the stages of preparing and conducting an interview. 

It is important to note that numerous cross-curricular topics are realized through this LS:

  • Civic education (goo A.5.1. Actively participates in protecting and promoting human rights.)
  • Personal and social development (osr A.5.2. Manages emotions and behaviour., osr B. 5.2. Student learn collaboratively and work in a team.)
  •  Information and communication technology (ikt A.5.4. The student critically assesses the impact of technology on health and the environment., ikt B. 5.2. The student independently collaborate with known and unknown people in the digital environment., ikt C.5.2. The student independently and self-initiatively conducts a complex search for information in the digital environment., ikt C. 5.3. The student self-initiatively and independently critically evaluates the search process and results and selects the necessary information from the information found.) 

Teacher’s remarks and are excellent platforms for encouraging students to research and independent study. The contents are diverse, clearly, and precisely organized, and easy to find. The platform can be used in all lesson phases – from introduction, and elaboration to evaluation. 

The Croatian language school subject, especially in literature, the topics of art, history, and science are closely related to numerous educational contents that can be found on the platform. I believe that the situation is the same with the curricula of many other teaching subjects. 

We found other LS connected with this topic – by theme (analysis of literary characters or poetics of literary periods), information and communication technology (various online digital tools) or teaching methods (development of critical thinking or collaborative learning).

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? An Interview with Madame Bovary (LS-HR-575), created by Marijana Trinajstić

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Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Statens Museum for Kunst.

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