Stalin & Propaganda Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help you teach your students about some of the techniques that were employed by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime to sway the people. Students will further look for connections between Soviet propaganda and political advertisements today.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • recognize various forms and techniques for spreading propaganda
  • identify how communism spread in the early 1900s
  • describe Stalin's reign in the Soviet Union

Length

This lesson will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

Vocabulary

  • communism
  • cult of personality
  • facism
  • New Soviet Person
  • propaganda
  • socialism

Instructions

Materials needed: pictures of various advertisements, paper, pencils, chart paper, markers

Activate prior knowledge by showing students a variety of advertisements. Ask students what the pictures have in common. Discuss the techniques that advertisers use to convince you to buy their products.

Have students divide into small groups to discuss the following:

  • How are political advertisements similar to product ads?
  • What are some ways political parties spread propaganda?

Watch the lesson Joseph Stalin & Soviet Propaganda: Techniques & Examples as a class.

Pause at 0:41. Have students turn and talk to a partner about what they would do if they felt their rights were being taken away and why.

Continue watching the lesson. Pause at 1:13. Have students do a 2-minute quick write in which they write a bulleted list of as many characteristics of the perfect citizen as they can think of. Have students share some of the points from their list with the class and write them on chart paper. Discuss whether student lists match the description of the New Soviet Person. Why?

Continue the lesson until 4:46. Provide each small group with chart paper and markers. Ask groups to list the types of propaganda that were employed by the Soviets and to explain how propaganda changed over time. Provide each group the opportunity to share their chart with the class.

Continue watching the remainder of the lesson.

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