Browse a broad range of fantastic French revolution-based activities that are sure to transport your learners back in time and make their learning journey fun! We’ve curated a list of 21 unique activities that will bring the history and impact of the French Revolution to life in your classroom; helping you spark curiosity, foster critical thinking, and encourage meaningful engagement with this fascinating period of history.
1. Revolutionary Role-Play: Step into the Shoes of Key Figures
In this activity, students will assume the roles of prominent figures from the French Revolution, such as Marie Antoinette, Maximilien Robespierre, or Napoleon Bonaparte. Through role-playing, they’ll gain a deeper understanding of the motivations, perspectives, and decisions that shaped the course of the revolution.
Learn More: Smithsonian Mag
2. Digital Timeline: Unraveling the Revolution
Promote research skills, organization, and storytelling as your learners unravel the crucks of the Revolution. Have your learners design an interactive, digital timeline using tools like Google Slides or Timeline JS; highlighting key events and figures of the French Revolution.
Learn More: Slides Go
3. Debate The Estates General and the Rise of Revolutionary Ideas
Bring your French Revolution unit to a close with a lively debate! Divide your class into 3 groups; representing the 3 estates of French society (clergy, nobility, and commoners). From there, stage a lively debate on the grievances, demands, and goals of each estate.
Learn More: OLL
4. Artistic Expression: Creating Revolutionary Propaganda Posters
Get your students to tap into their artistic talents and create eye-catching propaganda posters that capture the main ideas and themes of the French Revolution. This activity fosters creativity and visual communication and gets your students to develop a deeper understanding of the power of symbols and imagery.
Learn More: Study
5. Primary Source Analysis: Examining Revolutionary Documents
Dive into primary sources from the French Revolution, such as speeches, letters, or political pamphlets. Students can spend time analyzing these documents, exploring different perspectives, and drawing connections to the social and political climate of the time.
Learn More: Gilder Lehrman
6. Virtual Field Trip: Exploring Versailles and Revolutionary Paris
Take your students on a virtual field trip to the Palace of Versailles and the streets of Paris during the French Revolution. Using online resources, videos, and 360-degree tours, students will be able to explore significant locations and gain a sense of the atmosphere and the impact of the revolution on these places.
Learn More: Plano Public Library
7. Simulation: The Storming of the Bastille
Recreate the iconic event of the French Revolution by organizing a simulation of the Storming of the Bastille. Students will work together in groups; assuming roles of revolutionaries, guards, or civilians, experiencing the tension and excitement of this pivotal moment.
Learn More: Britannica
8. Creative Writing: Diary of a Revolutionary Figure
Encourage students to channel their creativity and tap into their empathetic side by writing diary entries from the perspective of a fictional or historical character involved in the French Revolution.
Learn More: Learnodo Newtonic
9. Research Project: Exploring Revolutionary Ideologies
Assign students a specific revolutionary ideology, such as liberalism, nationalism, or radicalism, and have them conduct research to understand its origins, key proponents, and impact during the French Revolution. Students can then present their findings through presentations or multimedia projects.
Learn More: Owlcation
10. Film Analysis: Viewing Historical Films on the French Revolution
Select and screen historically accurate films about the French Revolution, such as “Danton” or “Marie Antoinette.” Afterward, engage students in critical discussions to further analyze the portrayal of events, characters, and historical accuracy in the films.
Learn More: Amazon
11. Museum Exhibition: Curating a French Revolution Showcase
Divide the class into groups and assign them different aspects of the French Revolution to curate a mini museum exhibition. Students will research, create displays, and present their exhibits to showcase the diverse facets of the revolution.
Learn More: Grenoble Tourisme
12. Collaborative Timeline: Mapping the Revolution as a Class
As a class, get your learners to create a collaborative timeline on a large bulletin board or whiteboard; adding key events, figures, and corresponding images as you explore the French Revolution together.
Learn More: Prezi
13. Political Cartoon Analysis: Unveiling Revolutionary Satire
Students will develop their visual literacy and critical thinking skills as they investigate the realms of revolutionary satire. They can analyze political cartoons from the French Revolution period; examining the use of satire, symbols, and caricatures to critique the monarchy, social hierarchy, and political events.
Learn More: East India Blogging Co.
14. Literature Study: Exploring Revolutionary Novels and Plays
Introduce students to literary works inspired by the French Revolution, such as “A Tale of Two Cities” or “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Engage in discussions about themes, character motivations, and the role of literature in reflecting and influencing historical events.
Learn More: Amazon
15. Group Presentation: The Reign of Terror and Its Impact
Assign student groups different aspects of the Reign of Terror, such as the Committee of Public Safety, the Revolutionary Tribunal, or the role of Robespierre. Each group will need to research and present their findings to shed light on this intense period of the revolution.
Learn More: Britannica
16. Historical Fashion Show: Dressing up in Revolutionary Style
Organize a fashion show where students can dress up in costumes inspired by the fashion of the French Revolution era. Encourage creativity, historical research, and discussions about the influence of clothing and fashion during this time.
Learn More: Give Me History
17. Podcast Production: Revolution Talk Radio
Engage your learners in the act of podcast production by having them create episodes that explore different aspects of the French Revolution. They can interview guests, discuss events, and share their insights and analysis.
Learn More: Historical Association
18. Historical Simulation: The Estates General and the Road to Revolution
Conduct a role-playing activity where students assume the roles of different estates and participate in a simulated Estates General meeting. They will engage in discussions, negotiations, and decision-making; gaining a deeper understanding of the complex social dynamics that led to the revolution as they go.
Learn More: School History
19. Gallery Walk: Analyzing Revolutionary Artworks
Create a gallery walk where students can examine and analyze artworks from the French Revolution era. Throughout their walk, they can discuss the themes, symbolism, and artistic techniques used to convey messages of the time.
Learn More: The Observer
20. Interactive Online Quizzes: Testing Revolutionary Knowledge
Utilize online platforms like Kahoot or Quizlet to create interactive quizzes that test students’ knowledge of the French Revolution. This activity adds an element of fun competition while reinforcing key concepts and facts.
Learn More: Kahoot
21. Historical Newspaper: Reporting Revolutionary Events
Task students with creating a historical newspaper that covers significant events, figures, and debates during the French Revolution. They will research, write articles, and design newspaper layouts; bringing history to life in a creative and informative way.
Learn More: Barnes @ LHS