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HEAVEN ON EARTH: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIALISM
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La greve au Creusot (1899), Jules Adler
 
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HEAVEN ON EARTH: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIALISM
LESSON PLANS

Grade Level 9-12

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Overview
Heaven On Earth traces the evolution of socialism from the industrial revolution to the present day through profiles of leaders and thinkers. The film focuses on the many ways that nations have interpreted theories of socialism. The stories show powerful examples of the consequences of ideas. Heaven On Earth is not a comprehensive history but provides a broad picture of socialismís impact on world events in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This film can be used in a variety of ways. Most segments can operate as self-contained biographies, running approximately 9-12 minutes long. Go to the Synopsis section on the website to see segment descriptions. Teachers can either use individual segments to focus on a specific historical figure or use interview transcripts and the other resources on the website to lead students through larger historical movements. Many of the segments in Hours 2 and 3 return to stories started earlier in the program to track changes over time.

LESSON ONE
 

Socialism and Marxism in the Industrial Revolution
Focus on Robert Owen, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Eduard Bernstein

Objectives
Familiarize students with the ideas that shaped socialism and Marxism in the 19th century.

LESSON TWO
 

Capitalism vs. Communism
The Russian Revolution, American Labor at the beginning of the 20th century and Socialism in Canada: Vladimir Lenin and Samuel Gompers

Objectives
Familiarize students with the ideas that continued to shape socialism and Marxism in the 19th century. Show how those ideas were implemented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Contrast reactions to socialism in America and Russia.

LESSON THREE
 

Critical Thinking Skills: History and Perspective
This lesson uses three examples to show the challenge of discussing socialismís controversial history: Socialism in Tanzania, the transformation of the British Labour Party under Tony Blair, and contemporary scholarsí views on the future of socialism. Each example uses interviews with participants who have directly opposing points of view.

Objectives
In this set of exercises, students will examine historical events through the words of participants who have very different perspectives. Students should gain an understanding of the events described but also begin to see how the biases of participants shape their recollection and interpretation of events. These exercises could be used in units focusing on the specific historic periods described or as a way of discussing general historical analysis, bias and perspective.

LESSON FOUR
 

Socialism in the Jewish Kibbutz Movement
Using interviews with the original settlers of one Israeli Kibbutz and their children, students can discuss the relationship between socialism, religious beliefs and the Zionist movement for a Jewish state.

Objectives
In this lesson, students will examine the role that socialism played in unifying settlers in a Jewish Kibbutz and how attitudes toward socialism changed with subsequent generations. Students can compare the experience described by the kibbutzim of Kibbutz Ginosar with Robert Owenís utopian community at New Harmony.

CREDITS
 

Educational Content by John Sorensen
Web Construction by Bienvenido Concepcion

 

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