Celebrating Bastille Day

Nicola Davison
11th July 2017
french flag flying for bastille day

Lesson ideas and activities to introduce learners to the history behind the French national holiday

Celebrated each year on 14 July, Bastille Day, known more formally as la Fête Nationale, commemorates the storming of the Bastille. This was one of the most important events in the French Revolution and ultimately led to the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

As such, we’ve hand-picked a selection of our favourite Bastille Day-inspired resources to help you to examine its significance with your pupils.

Lesson ideas

Take younger learners on a step-by-step journey to understanding the causes of the French Revolution with this well-designed presentation, accompanied by short descriptions of each image in French. For older pupils, try this interesting introductory lesson, which comes with presentations in both French and English as well as a comprehension worksheet to consolidate learning.

Alternatively, get into the spirit of the festival and find out how France marks Bastille Day with this vibrant lesson pack, containing clear learning objectives, vocabulary and differentiated activities.

Supporting activities

Ensure that key vocabulary is secure by encouraging able students to translate Bastille Day-themed words into French before finding them this tricky wordsearch. Younger pupils may benefit from this simpler version.

Just for fun, this interactive quiz contains 40 questions covering key facts and figures from the Revolution.

Quick links

La Revolution Francaise

A PowerPoint showing the background to the French Revolution
By gilberto

Bastille day

2 lessons - 1 in french for higher groups and one in English on Bastille day.
worksheet for lesson in French
By missjennie11

French Teaching Resources. La Fête Nationale. Bastille Day. Le 14 juillet. La Révolution Française.

This lesson teaches students about the French Revolution and how a Fête Nationale/ Bastille Day/ Le 14 juillet is celebrated. It uses colourful slides, images and animations, 3 YouTube links, matching cards and karaoke! A fun end of term lesson!

Slide 2 states the objective: To learn facts and vocabulary related to La Révolution Française and La Fête Nationale!

All: Will learn 7 new facts and French words.
Most: Will learn 9 .
Some: Will learn 10+ .

Slide 3 presents the following vocabulary:
Le clergé
La noblesse
Le Tiers-État
Le roi
La reine
La Bastille (une prison)
La guillotine
Le Tricolore

It is differentiated: All: Match the French and the picture (there are some English words to help!).
Most: Perfect Pronunciation Challenge!
Some: Share what you know about La Révolution Française.

Slides 4 – 11 show each word with images and animations so you can drill the new vocabulary.
Slide 12 has all the pictures for each new word.
Then there is graded questioning:
Slides 13 – 20 show an image and provide 2 possible answers.
Slides 21- 30 are “What’s missing?” slides.

Slide 30 is to be used in conjunction with the French worksheet and the YouTube video (in English) The French Revolution In a Nutshell (2 mins 50 secs) which is a cartoon-style clear and concise summary – really fun!

Then the students watch the video:
All: Complete Exercise A.
Most: AND Exercise B.
Some: AND note down any additional facts and French vocabulary.
* The answers are on the first 2 pages of the PDF.

Extract examples of questions:
A. Cochez les choses que vous voyez:
le Tricolore un canon le monde Le clergé la noblesse le Tiers-État


B. Choisissez la bonne réponse:

1. Avant la Révolution il y avait trois rangs :
A. La reine, le roi et le Tiers-État.
B. Le clergé, la noblesse et le Tiers-État.
C. Le roi, le clergé et la noblesse.


Slide 32 states: Pour fêter La Fête Nationale il y a des défilés militaires. Le défilé le plus célèbre a lieu sur l’Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Le soir il y a des feux d’artifice, des concerts et des bals.
And there is a link to an English language commentary of Bastille Day celebrations on YouTube (1 min 34 secs).

Slide 33 explains the Marseillaise and sets out the task (using English and French matching cards):
Slide 34 has the Marseillaise in English and French.

Slide 35 is a Marseillaise Karaoke slide and links to YouTube.

Finally Slide 36 provides time for reflection.

I hope you enjoy these resources!
By rachelburman

La Fete Nationale Wordsearch

Wordsearch on Bastille Day vocab

By aspidistra

Quatorze juillet fete nationale wordsearch. Bastille

French wordsearch using key words for the 14th July. Found another forum member had posted this. Thought original format with clues in English too hard for my little year 7s, so have put clues into French

By wp72

Bastille Day / French Revolution PowerPoint Quiz (La Fête Nationale) - 40 Questions

This is an interactive 40 question, interactive PowerPoint quiz on Bastille Day ( La Fête Nationale) and the French Revolution. Bastille Day is France's National Day and takes place on 14th July.

The quiz can be used for individuals or teams. There is a sheet for individuals/teams to record answers. The answers to the questions can be found by clicking on the flag image on the bottom right- hand corner of each slide. There are three multiple choice answers.

Sample questions include

  • On what date is Bastille Day?

  • What is Bastille Day known as in France??

  • In what year did the storming of the Bastille take place?

  • What was the Bastille?

  • Who was the King of France at the time of the storming of the Bastille?

  • Who was King Louis XVI’s wife?


  • You may also be interested in

    Bastille Day / La Fête Nationale PowerPoint Assembly / Lesson Presentation (

    This resource contains an interesting and informative 60-slide lesson/assembly on Bastille Day and the French Revolution which takes place on 14th July.

    It contains references to

  • The causes of the French Revolution

  • The key events of the French Revolution

  • King Louis XVI

  • The Three Estates

  • The French Flag

  • The French National Anthem

  • The establishment of Bastille Day

  • Bastille Day celebrations


  • The PowerPoint contains three hyperlinks to the French National anthem, an animated video of the history of Bastille Day and the French Revolution and Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

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