The Age of Absolutism is a great unit in World History. My students love learning about the rulers who held absolute power in Europe and seeing pictures of their great palaces.
In my World History curriculum, I have a great Absolute Monarchs activity to get things started. Students receive worksheets with Europe's most well-known absolute rulers to cut out: Louis XIV, Philip II, Henry VIII, & Peter the Great.
They also receive an interactive map of Europe that will go in their notebooks. We'll then go through a PowerPoint. As they learn about each monarch, they cut out the figures and glue them on the map so they pop-up. So it becomes a literal "Rise of Absolute Monarchs" right in their notebooks!
Students love the hands-on nature of this activity. It keeps them engaged during the PowerPoint and helps them better connect with each leader.
Next, students analyze a primary and secondary source on King Louis XIV's daily routine as Versailles and compare it to their own daily schedules. This is a great way for students to connect more with King Louis XIV as a person as see the tremendous pressure he was under (as well as his lavish spending and inability to connect with the common Frenchman).
Also, as part of this unit, students will work on additional interactive notebook pages on Absolute Monarchs and an entire set of Digital Interactive Notebook pages through Google Slides that include links to great online sources.
Both types of these pages are great for independent student work while you help individual students or grade papers. The traditional cut-and-paste interactive notebook pages work great with a textbook (World History Patterns of Interaction is a good one), online sources, or another reading.
The digital pages are engaging and provide a variety of activities like drag-and-drop timelines and various graphic organizers.
I usually will only assign a few of the digital pages (examples can be seen above and below) to my students during any 1 unit. However, there are other teachers who use all of them and will give students the entire set at the beginning of the unit and have this be their focus activity throughout the unit. They are certainly thorough enough to provide all the reinforcing activities you'd need for the unit.
Another great activity for the unit is this Primary Source Analysis activity comparing views on Divine Right. There are 2 primary source excerpts: one from England's King James I and another from Enlightenment philosopher John Locke. Students compare their arguments for and against the concept of the Divine Right of Kings.
There's also a unit study guide available for covering the whole unit, magazine cover project, poster project, mapping activity, primary source analysis activity on a speech from James I, and more!
The enture Absolute Monarchies unit concludes with some review activities and games and then an editable assessment. The reviews include Quizlet vocabulary word sets that can be used for playing Quizlet Live, a Jeopardy-style review game, Kahoot and Quizizz, and more! These games really help students to enjoy reviewing the material and prep for the test.
You can download this entire unit in one handy zip folder right here.
Another option is to join Students of History! When you do, you'll immediately get lesson plans for each day of this unit AND all of World History! Each lesson plan details how to use all of these amazing activities plus links to great videos, Google Docs, and more! You'll never have to stress about lesson planning again!
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