Revolutions on Trial

We just finished a new project titled “Revolutions On Trail”. This was our last project of this year/term and we presented our work in an exhibition with all the other grades. Every grade had a different set of presentations built around what they’ve learned.

The driving question for this project was “How might we as legal teams, determine the effectiveness of a revolution.” This question pushed us to learn about a revolution, find pros and cons of it to try to find the effectiveness of our revolution.

Learning Process

Early in this process we started reading a book called Animal Farm by George Orwell. We read this all through the first two thirds-ish of the project. Animal Farm is about a group of animals that get frustrated with their living situations and rebel against the humans that run and trade with the farm. This book helped u learn about the structuring of revolutions, why they may happen and what they usually consist of.

After learning about this book and the basis of the project, we moved on to our first big milestone, which was a “civilization simulator” called Nation X. We split into groups with varying wealth, like royalty, law enforcement, working class, and peasants. The point of the simulator was a two parter: 1. to look at reasons why revolutions occur/what causes them. And 2. To see if we could make a fair and functional society (which we failed on). We did this simulation in class over three days and all things considered, it went pretty well. We successfully ran stores and passed laws. Arrested criminals and collected taxes. Unfortunately our government became corrupt when sickness broke out, and kind of destroyed the whole nation.

During the next handful of classes we learned about the Crane Brinton theory which is Crane Brinton’s anatomy of the events/phases of a revolution. We made a creative diagram of what we learned which helped us organize our information and demonstrate how we interpreted the theory.

The next big thing we did was right after we finished Animal Farm. We did a “written response” to the book, linking it and the events to the Crane Brinton diagram which we did before. This extended our knowledge of the whole concept of revolutions and got us to understand what the different phases add to the revolution.

Animal farm Written Response

Final product

With all our knowledge now coming together we split into eight groups with four revolutions: Xinhai revolution, American revolution, Haitian revolution and the French revolution. (each with two groups). I was in the Xinhai group with my classmates: Noah, Patrick, Ava, Alicia and Sabrina. Our end goal is to perform a mock trial for an audience at the exhibition. We researched our revolution for a couple weeks and than joined with the other group (the one with the same revolution as us) to form a script and affidavit for our trial. After a couple more weeks of revising, memorizing and practicing came the big night! We where all dressed up and ready to go. After a couple more practice runs we preformed for the big crowd.

Curricular Competencies

I learned a lot in this project but here is what I learned with the competencies I was given.

Continuity and Change: identify continuities and changes to make sense of the complex flows of history. Compare and contrast continuities and changes for different groups at particular times and places.

I demonstrated this competency by understanding how things changed before and after the revolution and I show this in my graphic organizer. Something that helped me to understand this was looking at some underlying causes and meanings of actions instead of just their surfaced value. I also showed this by looking at similarities with the Xinhai revolution and the book we read, and the effects and consciences of actions.

Connecting: use strategies to connect with text. Set a personal goal for reading that builds on works personally enjoyed. Speak and listen appropriately in a variety of contexts for a variety of purposes.

I demonstrated this competency by reading Animal Farm fully and participating in the group discussions about the book. I also think I did a good job completing the Animal Farm written response. as per usual, I could’ve listened “more intently” during some of our class discussions, but I think this was completed for the most part.

I really loved then end goal for this project and the activities like the Nation X simulator that we did. I learned a lot and read a really cool book. Thanks for reading.

Have a good one.

One Response

  1. Cameron B January 18, 2022 at 9:19 pm |

    Great job on the trial!


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