We’re Storming the Barricades

We have just finished a project called storming the barricades. We learnt about the French and American Revolution, and how Crane Brintons theory can be applied to them. Along with each of these topics, we created a Rube Goldberg machine to represent these ideas using metaphors. Our driving question for this project was, How do revolutions transform societies?

Revolutions have a big impact on society in many different ways. A society has a system. People share the same sets of ideas and beliefs, working together and coexisting in the same shared space. People have grown to learn how to do this peacefully, creating a type of system in which they can all live side by side. A revolution breaks this routine and alters it to change how the society is run. It significantly transforms the political, economic, and social structure of the current society.

I really liked this photo, it helped me understand the meaning of transformation. In order for something to transform it has to change, transformation usually refers to a radical change. There are things that change but don’t transform, the change is to small to be considered transformation.


During this project my group, Raymond, Liam, Ethan and I would be creating four different videos. The last one would be a combination of the first three. The first one we created was on Crane Brintons theory.


We created a Rube Goldberg Machine, each part of the machine was meant to be used as a metaphor. The Metaphor would represent a stage in Crane Brintons Theory. His theory explained how there are four different stages, and each stage shows how society is slowly getting worse. With the video we also wrote a group paragraph explaining how we applied Crane Brintons theory to our machine. Both the video and the paragraph were at a very beginner level, it was our first attempt and we had a lot to learn from it. Our video was very basic and didn’t have a lot of variety in angles, this was something that could have been improved on by creating a more detailed storyboard.


For our next video we modified our machine to represent the American Revolution.


In the American Revolution the idea of freedom and equality was introduced, this was something that became very widespread. In this revolution there was a huge change in government, they went from a monarchy to a democracy. In both the French and the American Revolution, it started with a dislike of the way things are currently being run, and the decisions that are being made. This causes people to act out against their government, eventually leading them to create their new from of government. The new government was based on the idea that men are created equality. This significantly impacted the way their society worked, ordinary people now had a voice in the way their country was run. It was such a new radical idea and it appealed to many different people.


One skill we built a lot on during this project was learning how to take good notes. On all of the different topics we learnt about, we took notes during that lesson. I found this really helpful to be able to go back and read them when writing paragraphs, or just trying to create the story for our videos. We also wrote out important information on our small whiteboards. For me it really helps to write it out by hand, it makes remembering the information easier and I’m able to process it better.

The last change we would be making to our Rube Goldberg machine, would be to show the French Revolution.


In the French Revolution, a big change was the social standings of people in their society. Before the revolution the french were divided into three estates. The French society, like the Americans, also changed to believe that men are created equally. This changed the division in the population, and people came together more, affecting how people interacted with each other on a daily basis. We also learned about the cause and consequence of the French Revolution. There are events before the revolution that caused people to take action, without them you could never have the same outcome, such as the revolution. Since the events did happen, there are consequences it leaves. Everything that happens is a chain of events, without the first event the others wouldn’t be as likely to happen.


Our last video was a combination of the first three. This video me and my groups answer to the driving question.

While making this video, we improved a lot of the very basic skills we learnt at the beginning. In this video we a stronger storyline, one that is clear and easier to understand. We used and app called PuppetPals to create the story portion of the video. I think our storyboard we created was better and more detailed then last one, we considered all our options of what to add. I think this impacted our final video because it gave us an exact idea of what we wanted to be shown and heard. We were also communicating better, we were building off each others ideas and because of that we were able to put a better video together.


Revolutions are one big event that significantly impact a society, but within the revolution there are smaller events that contribute to the big impact in the end. Without them the revolution would have looked different or not even happened. The effect the revolution did have, was of great importance, without it the society we live in today would look a lot different. Everything that happened in the past has lead our society to looking and working the way it does now.

“Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.”

Gloria Steinem