The French Revolution

A WebQuest for 9th grade World History

Designed by
Matthew Pence
Tess Scott
James Vasquez

Jacques Louis David, Oath of Tennis Court 

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


    Heads dropped from the guillotine throughout the 1790s because French citizens demanded freedom. They refused to be governed by the monarchy, and in 1789 took the government into their own hands, beginning the French Revolution. 
    Numerous events occurred during this revolution that would shape French and world history forever. Monarchies became a thing of the past as peasants united to overthrow the government. The idea of terrorism emerged as public figures assumed power and then became corrupt. What was life like for the people of France during this period?

Your task is to take on the role of a specific French citizen group during the Revolution and research, analyze and draw conclusions based on the historical facts you learn.

The Task

Your task is to determine who you will portray during the French Revolution. You need to put yourself in the role of this character; you can be anyone from Louis XVI to a simple peasant. 

After deciding, pick two stages of the Revolution that your character participated in. For example, if you chose Louis XVI you might want to pick Stages One and Two.

Your goal is to write a narrative, historical fiction of sorts, from the viewpoint of your person. Be sure to include historical information to make your narrative accurate, and precise characteristics of the person you chose. Use the internet sources provided by this webquest, but also include information from class lecture and outside sources (you may want to use a book, journal article, or documentary).

The Process

First pick a character. You may choose from the following:

If you want to make up a character, you may decide to be a member of one of the groups listed below. You must, however, include specific individuals (i.e., Louis XVI, Robespierre, Talleyrand, etc) from the Revolution in your narrative since your character is fictional.

  • peasant                              
  • bourgeoisie
  • clergy
  • French military

                                     Louis XVI

Or, you can be someone specific, just make sure to read the list of important people during the Revolution first!


Then pick two stages of the Revolution:

(A stage is defined as a distinct period of time during the Revolution where certain events characteristic to only that time period occurred.)

  • Stage One The Traditional Way (The Old Regime in France was under Louis XVI and French society was divided into the Three Estates.)
  • Stage Two The Beginning of Conflict (The National Assembly emerges, and the Tennis Court Oath and Storming of the Bastille occur.)
  • Stage Three The First Republic (National Assembly organizes the government and develops the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.)
  • Stage Four Radicals Emerge (Rise of Jacobins,Roberspierre becomes influential, the National Convention begins, and war with Austria occurs.)
  • Stage Five Reign of Terror (The execution of Louis XVI and the royal family, Robespierre begins his Committee of Public Safety, Danton becomes a public figure.)
  • Stage Six Recovery (Robespierre is beheaded, the Directory takes over, Napoleon emerges.)
Next, use these websites to find information:

Finally, begin writing the narrative:

When you enter a stage with its websites, go to each site and determine which ones will be most helpful to you. Write down specific information you collect, being sure to cite which website you retrieved this information from. Try searching for other websites that might be helpful, but make sure they are valid and the information is genuine. Do not forget to cite these sites as well!



Your grade will be determined using the following criteria (out of a 100 pt. scale):

10   Works Cited (proper citation of ALL sites used) 
20   Character Identification (clear description of character; character has name, background; reader can identify.) 
15   Two stages of the Revolution (clear definition of both stages; reader can distinguish events from each stage throughout the narrative.) 
40   Historical Facts (proper information from resources.) 
10   First-person Account (writer uses firstperson to detail the life of his/her character.) 
5     Neatness/Organization (narrative is typed, spellchecked, has correct grammar, and includes a cover page.)

You should take this assignment very seriously; it will count twice toward your six weeks grade. 


The goal of this website is to allow you, the student, to gain valuable insight into the French Revolution. By writing this narrative you are looking at the Revolution from a certain point of view, asking you to critically evaluate events and their consequences on actual people. After completing this assignment you will be able to appreciate different viewpoints that accompany historical events.

After this activity, try using a search engine (like Google) to find other sites about the French Revolution that are not included in this webquest. It is important to distinguish valid websites from ones not containing proper information. While searching for these different websites, see if you can find examples of each.

The insight that you gain from this activity will help you learn how to research on the internet when future assignments are given.

Credits & References

Images from the revolution that appear on this page come from the Cambridge Public Schools website.

Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page