Beacon Lesson Plan Library

So Why Did They Kill Him?

Jenny Collier


In small groups, students research particular aspects of rule by various European absolute monarchs from the 1400's to the 1700's. Presentations are then given to the class based on the groups' findings.


The student understands transformations in the political and social realms from the Age of Absolutism through the Glorious Revolution to the French Revolution.


-Collection of print media (i.e. textbook, media center holdings, resource books)
-Collection of electronic media (i.e. Websites, cd-roms, electronic encyclopedias)
-A means of presentation of information (i.e. PowerPoint, or wordprocessor and overhead projector)
-Handout materials (directions, task checklist) which are located in the associated files
-Evaluation rubric (to be developed by the teacher)


1. Decide on criteria for assessing. A list of expected student tasks is located in the associated files. You may also want to develop a rubric with which to evaluate the presentation itself and the quality of historical information presented.

2. Gather a resource shelf of print material and secure a computer lab with which to access electronic media. The teacher should be familiar with both in order to facilitate student research.


1. Put students into groups of three or four and hand out directions, task checklists, and grading rubrics. (See Associated file for directions and task checklist)

2. Allow one to two class periods for students to complete the necessary research, using available print and electronic media. The amount of guidance provided can be altered during the process according to student ability and comfort level.

3. Have each group present their findings to the class, using whatever presentation method the group chooses.


Assess students using the following:

1. Task checklist (See Associated File)
2. Evaluation rubrics (to be developed by the teacher)

Optional: Students take notes on each others' presentations, from which they can be evaluated.

Note: Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


1. This activity is an extension of a larger unit that studies the changes in politics that occurred during the era of absolutism and revolutions. Students find through their research that leaders who did not effectively deal with the problems faced by their countries tended to be beheaded in a revolution, for example.
2. Teacher expectations can be altered for students with particular exceptionalities and/or learning styles.

Attached Files

This file contains the necessary lesson plan pages.     File Extension: pdf

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