Role-playing activities for students | Remembering the French Revolution | Formative Assessment in Social Science

September 4, 2013

remembering the French revolution

The French revolution is one of the most significant events in world history which had positive repercussions all over the world.  It led to the fall of the monarchy almost all over the world and the onset of democratic forms of government.  The French revolution marked the beginning of assertion of rights of the common citizen or “aam aadmi” in all nations and a move to end repressive practices and servitude.  It led to the growing call for liberty, fraternity and equality in nations worldwide which was the motto of the French revolution.   The French revolution and the important scenes and characters of the French revolution can be brought alive with the help of role-playing activities.  This can form part of the formative assessment of students when they study the French revolution in class 9, CBSE.  The following are a few pointers for conducting this formative assessment activity.

Identify key characters and scenes of the French revolution for role-plays:   King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were the reigning king and queen of France during the French revolution from 1789 to 1799.  Students can watch clippings from movies on the French revolution or animations to get a deeper audiovisual insight into these two characters.  The phrase “let them eat cake” is attributed to Marie Antoinette when she supposedly heard about people starving and having no bread to eat.  She may not actually have said those words.  However, the superficial and lavish lifestyle of the bourgeois in France and their attitude towards the common people can be also enacted in one of the first few scenes of the role-play.  Students can then play the crucial role of the brave French revolutionaries from representatives at the Tennis Oath, the peasants and other common people who stormed the Bastille to the brave women who marched to Versailles.  They can also role-play the scene where the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen is approved by the National Constituent Assembly.  The class 9 students can invite teachers and students from other classes as well as their parents to witness the enactment of the French Revolution.  In this way, it will be even more exciting, and at the same time, become a memorable experience and imprint the crucial scenes and characters of the French revolution on the minds of the students.

photo credit: laurent.bardin via photopin cc

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