History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

How far did Louis XVI live up to his portrait? (Was Louis up to the job of being an Absolute Monarch?)

LouisActing as art historians students assess whether Louis really looked like he was depicted. Did he have the qualities to rule? They prepare and present their expert view for a TV documentary and see his role in causing the revolution!

After establishing what an Absolute Monarch was, and how one might be represented in a portrait, they go on to assess whether Louis had the qualities he needed for his important role. They then return to his portrait to see that this official version didn’t portray the real Louis. Why?

They then link this causal factor to the other reasons they have looked at to explain why the French Revolution happened. They finish by writing and presenting a script for a TV documentary entitled: The Big Picture. Clever teacher modelling helps support this process.

This lesson could be digital with pupils using laptops, desktops, ipads or other tablets.

We would highly recommend that you teach this enquiry as part of the causes of the French Revolution, in the order we suggest. Experience tells us that this is the best way to approach this rich topic. There are three other lessons in this sequence which build to an unsupported assessment.


Lesson includes:

  • Lesson presentation (Power Point)
  • Lesson write up (PDF)
  • Resource 1(word)
  • Resource 2(word)
  • Resource 3
  • Worksheet 1(word)

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