The people and the history surrounding the Russian Revolution are fascinating. A czar and his family in power for more than three centuries. A public fed up with their pitiful, poor lives while the royals live in luxury. A massive overthrow of the government which, as perhaps its most ghastly event, includes the kidnapping and assassination of the czar, the czarina and their five children.
Well, four children for sure. As legend has it, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas Romanov may have escaped. Anastasia's remains were never identified and women claiming to be her surfaced many times through the years. Documentaries and animated films have been made about her and her family, including the conspiracy theories and escape ideas. While the world may never know for certain if she lived a peaceful life, of sorts, after the death of her family, it is a piece of history that is fascinating.
Orwell's Animal Farm directly parallels the people and events of that period in time. And though his focus is on Russia, one can argue (and my students did!) that the political structure set up in the book mimics other countries as well, even the USA. The link below connects to slideshows previous students did about these parallels.
Russion Revolution Slideshows
In class, students will view a number of these documents, analyze them for structure and content, and then write about their new knowledge. Then they will also post a comment about this or previous posts. Should be an insightful day, provided all of the elements come together seamlessly - computers power on and connect quickly, kids know their passwords, links on this page work, sites don't crash, slideshows play flawlessly, students bring paper and pens to class, copy machine doesn't run out of toner or get jammed, no surprise fire drills, my tolerance holds out on a Friday...