French Revolution

KS3 French Revolution outstanding lessons

Teaching The French Revolution to Key Stage 3 has never been statutory. Even with Gove’s reforms of the 2014 history curriculum , it only appears as a sort of walk-on part in the British history unit 1750-1900. I think it is a great topic,and one that fits the significant society category very well. You need to go for turning points and the links with today. Why do the French sing the Marseillaise at rugby matches when we sing God Save the Queen?

The focus is on causation as the underpinning theme throughout the whole study. The lesson comparing the different ways in which the Storming of the Bastille has been interpreted offers a colourful and exciting way in, as does the ‘Through the Keyhole’ view of Versailles. Comparisons can be made across countries and periods by contrasting the reasons for the revolutions and the execution of Louis XVI can be compared with that of Charles I. By exploring the way people set about ruling in the two countries pupils are well prepared for the comparison of Cromwell and Robespierre. This provides an exceptionally rich vein of material for the study of interpretations.

french revolution

What should we write on Robespierre’s plaque?

In his home town of Arras, the plaque commemorating his achievements has been vandalised and replaced so often that it is clear that people still feel strongly about him. Can pupils create a plaque of their own using just 100 words which would give a...
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Execution of Louis XVI

Enquiry question: When the French Revolution started in 1789, few wanted the death of the king or the end of monarchy. But just 4 years later the king’s head has been chopped off. Why? This lesson was taught to a mixed-ability class of 19 which contained...
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Teaching KS3 History: The French Revolution

Regarded by many as simply too complex to be taught to Y7 or Y8, the French revolution divides opinion.  Personally I think it is a great topic, as long as you don't feel that you need to cover the whole period from the 1780s to...
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