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Russian Revolution History VS Lenin

Goals & Objectives

Students critically judge Vladimir Lenin actions and influence in the Russian
Students collaborate and debate the influence of Vladimir Lenin
Students will use evidence from course materials to make their arguement

California State Content Standards

10.7.1 Understand the causes and consequences of the Russian Revolution, including
Lenins use of totalitarian means to seize and maintain control (e.g., the Gulag).
Common Core Literacy Standards
CCSS. RH. 10.9 Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and
secondary sources.
Driving Historical Question

How does Lenin tend to be judged by history; positively or negatively?

Why is Lenin a controversial historical character?
Did Lenin have justification for leading Russia into a Communist regime?

Lesson Introduction (Anticipatory Set/Hook/Accessing Prior Knowledge) Time: 7 min

For the start of class I will have the agenda on the board and explain the actives we will do
in class for today. In the beginning of the lesson I will ask the class how much they know
about Lenin and his role in the Russian Revolution. I want to assess the students prior
knowledge and see how much they know about Lenin before we start this unit. For a hook
into the lesson I will ask the students to think of a fictional character in a book, TV show, or
movie whose character is neither fully good nor fully bad. My example to the class is the
character Rick Grimes from the Walking Dead has characteristics that are both good and
bad. Point of this activity is for students to realize some historical characters have good and
bad traits which makes them more human. I want to then connect it back to Lenin of how
he was a historical character with both negative and positive qualities.
Vocabulary (Content Language Development) Time: 5 min
Vocabulary will be the same terms used from the last lesson. Students will use the
vocabulary graphic organizer from the last lesson to add more terms. Students will write
out the definition and draw a symbol that represents each vocabulary word.
Karl Marx
Vladimir Lenin

Joseph Stalin

Content Delivery (Method of Instruction) Time: 15 min

Students will be given a worksheet on Lenin New Economic Plan (NEP), and it will go over
the pros and cons of the new plan. After students are done reading the worksheet it will
help them have a better understanding of Lenin policy in Russia. Students will work in
partner pairs of 2 of reading the information and answering the questions. The teacher
then will go over some of the questions on the worksheet after a majority of the groups are
Student will then watch a YouTube video on the debate of whether Lenin was hero or
tyrant in Russia. The video does a good job of starting a debate for judging Lenin character
and achievements. The Ted video leaves an open ended question of whether to view Lenin
in a positive or negative light.
Student Engagement (Critical Thinking & Student Activities) Time: 2o min
For students engagement I will move the class seats into two circles for a Socratic Seminar
discussion. Students will go around in a formal debate with teacher guided questions of
whether Lenin had positive or negative impact on the Russian Revolution. During the Ted
video students should start formulating opinions about Lenin they can argue for in the
group discussion. The students will use the same partners they did the previous worksheet
activity. During this discussion students should pull out their notes, past worksheets, and
bring in other class examples as evidence for their argument. Students will be given the
Socratic Discussion Rubric to peer grade one another participation in the discussion.
Before the teacher starts the discussion, the teacher will have to explain the rules to the
students. Students will be given a rules worksheet and a Socratic grading rubric worksheet.
The teacher will go over the rules with the students and clarify any misconceptions they
might have for the activity. This activity requires full student engagement, and the teacher
job is to make sure the students discussion stays on task. The teacher will ask the student:
1) Did Lenin have justification for giving orders to kill people who were against the
Bolshevik Revolution?
2) Was it justified for Lenin to promote a violent overthrow of the Czars
government (Killing the whole Czar family), and taking out the provisional
democratic Russian government? Or could have he done it in a non-violent way?

3) Did Lenin envision Russia to have a totalitarian government like Stalin to control
the government, or did he wish for the people of Russia to control government
and maintain utopian Communist society?
After each group has time to answer these questions, the teacher then will move on the
lesson closure.
Lesson Closure Time: 8 min
Towards the end of the Socratic Seminar students will argue their final statements of
whether Lenin had justified causes for starting the Russian Revolution or not. After a
couple of the students give their opinion, all the students will stand up and divide into
three groups. One group will go in a corner of the class and argue ether pro Lenin; that
Lenin had justified reasons for starting the revolution. The other group will argue against
Lenin, and say he put Russian in a horrible state and people lost their freedom. In the third
group will be the students who have mixed feelings about Lenin, and are stuck in between
the positive and negative. Students will have a formal debate by arguing their point. Only
one student is allowed to talk at a time, and once a student is done talking the other student
is allowed to talk when called upon. The teacher will play devils advocate and move from
group to group to help students argue key points. Students are allowed to move from one
group to the other if they feel one side has stronger points than the other. The debate will
go on until the last minute of class. The teacher will ask students to turn in their notes from
the Socratic discussion, and also have the students write as an exit slip of whether Lenin
had a positive or negative impact on the Russian Revolution.
Assessments (Formative & Summative)
Formative: Students will grade one another with the Socratic Seminar Rubric. One student
will be one the outside circle on the opposite end grading their partner. The other partner
is in the inner circle with their peers having a discussion/debate about Lenin justification
for starting the revolution. Each partner will switch off as the teacher times each group
with a new question.
Formative: Students will turn in their notes with an exit slip that states whether Lenin had
positive or negative impact on the Russian Revolution.
Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs
EL students are provided with visual aid with the YouTube video of putting Lenin on the
stand and judging his impact on the Russian Revolution. They are given a graphic organizer
for the Lenin worksheet with guided questions and primary source picture that symbolized
Lenin NEP. Also students get to collaborate and socialize with other students to get
multiple perspectives. EL students are also given explicit instructions of what is expected of
them in this activity.
Students with special needs are given a graphic organizer to help them organize and break
down the material to make sense of it. Also the video is helpful for the student in
processing both visual and auditory information. The Socratic discussion also gives the

student multiple perspectives to help make sense of the complex topic. Also the teacher
will go over the answers to the worksheet to make sure they have the correct answers.
Resources (Books, Websites, Handouts, Materials)
Class Notes throughout the Unit
Teacher Handouts
Ted video of judging Lenin :
Russian Revolution Lesson Plan:
Rules for Socratic Seminar: