The Communist Manifesto Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Using this lesson plan and materials from, you'll have all you need to teach your students about the Communist Manifesto. Instruct your students on the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and have students engage in an activity to solidify learning.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • analyze the arguments of Marx and Engels for a Communist society
  • compare Communist thought with Capitalist thought


40 minutes, plus 40 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Key Vocabulary

  • Communism
  • Communist Manifesto
  • Karl Marx
  • Friedrich Engels
  • Proletariat
  • Bourgeois


  • Begin by reviewing with students some of the causes of social turmoil in England in 1848, including the growing gap between rich and poor.
  • Watch the video The Communist Manifesto: Summary & Analysis, pausing for the following points of discussion:
    • 1:03--How do you think that Marx and Engels would feel about the idea of rising from nothing to become wealthy?
    • 2:10--Of the 10 points of the Communist platform, which do you think are beneficial? Which do you think are harmful? How would your opinion change if you were poor? How about if you were rich?
    • 3:24--Ultimately what do you think caused the fall of Communism in practice? How are some of these ideas just not practical?

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