French Revolution Radical Stage Debate Activity

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Dan Nguyen
Grade Level:
High School
Product Type:
Debate with Reading Activity
File Type:
PPT and Debate
Answer Key:
  • French Revolution Radical Stage Debate Activity
  • French Revolution Radical Stage Debate Activity
  • French Revolution Radical Stage Debate Activity


*Note - this lesson is lesson #2 in my French Revolution unit. My page also has the entire unit for sale if you would like to purchase all the lessons together at a discount.

This lesson plan is focused on the Radical Stage of the French Revolution.

A brief powerpoint at the beginning reviews the initial events of the revolution. Then students are divided into 6 teams. 3 teams will be debating for the revolution and 3 teams will be debating against the revolution. One team from each side is paired off against the other. Each pair of teams is given one of the articles to read and then write a speech where they argue for their side. Teams also draw a poster on butcher paper to illustrate their main arguments during their presentations.

The 3 articles are each between 2-3 pages long, and the topics that they cover are:

1. Manorialism and the Unequal Treatment of Peasants a. France's social class system b. the fees and labor peasants owed to their lords. c. the financial crisis and how inflation affected the lower classes d. the Great Fear and the end of the Manorial system e. Edmund Burke's ideas against the revolution

2. The Bourgeois: Middle Class anger before the Revolution a. France’s social class system b. unequal treatment and lack of opportunity for the 3rd estate c. Resentment towards Catholic Church d. problems with the Estates-General e. The Great Fear and attacks on the Church f. Edmund Burke's ideas against the revolution

3. The Reign of Terror a. other nations declare war on Revolutionary France b. the sans-cullottes take control of the revolution c. formation of the National Convention d. execution of King Louis XVI e. Drafting of all males f. Reign of Terror to fight “enemies of the revolution” g. use of the guillotine

After preparing the presentations, the paired off teams present and then debate one another.

Both the powerpoint and the articles give the students their directions for their debate presentations.

After the debate, the remaining slides of the powerpoint briefly cover the main events from the articles.

Students end the lesson by writing a paragraph on whether the events of the Radical Stage of the revolution were justified.

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