|L I V I N G U N D E R C O M M U N I S M
written by Betsy Sandstrom, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, VA
Grade level: Middle school; High school
To understand a communist regime and what it means to
live within a communist society.
- Divide the class into three groups: Information, Advantages, Disadvantages (see descriptions below).
- Each group will do research on one aspect of a true communist society to be followed by an oral presentation accompanied with visuals.
- Each student will prepare an individual written report dealing with his/her topic.
NOTE: On the days of the presentations, students should listen, take notes and ask questions of the presenters.
- Time allocation:
- 1 day in library for research
- 2-3 class periods for additional research using library materials, websites, and all three episodes of The Face of Russia.
- 2 weeks laterturn in paper to teacher for evaluation
- 1-2 weeks latergroup presentations (one per day)
- Grading: total value is 100 points
50 points for individual written paper
30 points for personal presentation
20 points for group coordination/collaboration
Students will explain what a Communist government is and look at the role of the former Soviet Union as a leader of world Communism. They will examine what life was like in pre-communist times in Russia and compare it to life in post-communist Russia. Students should be reminded to stick to facts, be objective and use unemotional vocabulary.
This group will talk about the advantages of living in a communist society. In order to do this, the group should be divided into mini-groups to present the information. Students are not limited to the former Soviet Union, and are encouraged to include some other (former) communist countries. Suggested sub-topics to consider are:
- equality for all
- health care
- no unemployment
This group will talk about the problems and disadvantages of living in a communist society. The group should follow the same procedures as the Advantages group above. Suggested sub-topics are:
- abusive power