Jill Bass

This course will examine revolutionary movements in history and examine common trends and themes. Students will become acquainted with the political concepts associated with revolutions, participate in an in-depth study of the Russian Revolution and Indian independence movement. Students will also conduct independent research on another revolution in history as well as read Animal Farm.

Target population
This course is intended for middle level students at Satellite. This includes any student who has successfully completed their introductory LTL (learning to learn) semester, both regular and special education students and students in need of global studies credits and/or RCT preparation.

Goal and Objectives

  • To become fluent in the political vocabulary associated with revolutionary movements (ex. tyrant, oppression, insurrection, regime etc.)

  • To identify common trends or themes in revolutionary movements

  • To understand causes and outcomes of revolutions.

  • To analyze common problems associated with revolutions.

  • To be knowledgeable of historical cases of revolution including but not limited to the Russian Revolution and Indian Independence.

  • To compare and contrast the role of leader including Lenin, Stalin and Gandhi.

  • To read a novel in the context of historical events.

  • To analyze documents, events and movements.

  • To understand major economic and political concepts, including but not limited to: communism, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, self-determination, revolution, reformation, civil disobedience.

  • To understand major historical events and time periods, including but not limited to: Tsarist Russia, Bolshevik Revolution, Stalinist Russia, Cold War, European imperialism, Indian Independence.

  • To research a major historical event and develop an informational and analytical project. Present research to audience.


Major Themes
By using the theme of revolutions to look at history, students will use a critical lens to examine essential questions such as:

1. Does power always corrupt?
2. Could communism have worked?
3. How can meaningful change occur?
4. Must change be violent?
5. How can we effect change in our world?

Alignment to Standards
This course addresses key ideas of standard 2-World History, standard 3-Geography, and standard 4-Economics. The key ideas more specifically are:

Standard 2-World History

1. "The study of the human condition and the ways different people view the same event or issue from a variety of perspectives." We will examine various historical events from a social and political perspective, viewing how the events might have seemed from the ruling regime's perspective, the middle class (when applicable) perspective, and the peasant/workers or general population's perspective. We will compare and contrast these different viewpoints, conducting role play and writing personal narratives from historical character's point of views.
2. "Establishing timeframes, exploring periodizations, examining themes across time and within cultures, and focusing on important turning points in world history�" Using revolutions as our unifying theme, we will compare and contrast causes and consequences of revolutions in various cultures and time periods.
3. "Study of the major social, political, cultural and religious developments in world history involves learning about the important roles and contributions of individuals and groups." We will study the role leaders like Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Gandhi played in revolutionary movements, as well as groups such as the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
4. "The skills of historical analysis include the ability to investigate differing and competing interpretations of the theories of history, hypothesize about why the interpretations change over time, explain the importance of historical evidence�" Through independent research projects, students will examine various sources, and critically analyze information, noting bias and cultural influence in differing historiographical data.

Standard 3-Geography

1. Students will use maps to become familiar with the geography of the regions studied, and improve their geographical skills including but not limited to: distance, latitude and longitude and topography.

Standard 4-Economics
1. Students will understand major economic theories including but not limited to: communism, socialism and capitalism.

In this course we will read George Orwell's Animal Farm, excerpts from The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, and the principals of non-violence outlined by Gandhi. We will read from Revolution by Mark Almond. We will also view the films: Animal Farm, The Inner Circle and Gandhi. We will use the local library, the internet and reference books for research.

A variety of assessments will be used, including: Socratic seminars, expository writing assignments, vocabulary quizzes, research papers, annotated time-lines, tests, group projects and presentations.