To become familiar with the causes, major events, and results of the French Revolution.
2 class periods
You can begin this lesson by reading with the class the background information on the French Revolution. This includes a section entitled Social Inequality Was a Basic Cause of the French Revolution, along with a chart describing the three "estates" (First Estate, Second Estate, Third Estate), or social classes.
Afterwards, there are five Thought Questions that require brief written answers and the use of critical thinking skills. Student responses can be discussed later in the period.
For homework. class members read sections on The French Revolution and Use of the Guillotine.
At the beginning of the second class period, it is time to play THE GUILLOTINE GAME!
The class is divided into two teams. Team 1 will be supporters of Louis XVI and the First and Second Estates. Team 2 will be the Third Estate. Each side tries to gain control of the French government by guillotining political opponents on the other team.
Before starting the game, the teacher will give a sign-up sheet numbered from 1 to 25 to Team 1. Each player will write their name after any number not taken by a teammate. Team 2 will do the same on a sheet numbered from 26 to 50. The numbers represent places in France where players hope to hide out and avoid execution by their enemies. Sign-up sheets will be collected by the teacher.
Play begins when the teacher asks a question about the French Revolution. The first person to raise their hand will be called on. If their answer is correct, they will choose any number from the other team’s list. If the number picked locates the hiding place of one of the enemy –– according to the sign-up sheet –– then that person from the opposing team has been beheaded, and the team scores 1 point. The game continues in the same way until a total of 22 questions have been asked.
Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.