At a Glance


  • History

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Western Civilization - General Studies

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Solving problems
  • Analyzing
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Low tech AL classroom

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Preparation & knowledge activation
  • Application & knowledge building


In this activity, students take on the role of one of the “estates”, “classes”, and groups in the French Revolution – clergy, nobility, bourgeoisie, peasantry, urban workers and the Parisian women (the latter not a class, but they have a role). Each student then teaches the others at the table about the role of their “class” so that each table is composed of the six groups in the grid. 

In class, the group fills out a grid to explore the grievances, actions taken, and gains and/or losses incurred by their chosen “class”. Once the group has agreed on a “best answer” they switch tables so that each table has a member from each of the original 6 groups. At the table they teach each other and complete their grids. Finally each group reports back to the class and the instructor can comment and add information if necessary.  

Instructional Objectives

  • To delve more deeply into the concepts explored in class, especially the topic of historical transformation and class in the french revolution; 
  • To give time to students to think about the multifaceted factors that lead to a state of revolution 
  • To allow students to “review” and discuss the material. 

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

  • The activity supports UDL (universal design and learning) whereby a multiplicity of activities ensures inclusion for diverse learners. 
  • Students learn how to think and talk about societal issues, class and revolution both in the past and in the present 
  • By discussing these topics with their own group and other groups, they engage more deeply with the material and can also remember it better; 
  • The various group activities support community and collaboration in class – and students have fun. 
  • Logistics
  • It is important that each group is of an equal number of students

Applied Strategies