Interactive Interview with Josef Stalin [interactive]
Allocate out a different topic from those listed in the drop-down menu to each student. In a subsequent lesson, each student then does a presentation to the class based on their findings. Best of all is if they choose the three most interesting questions and responses and memorise these. The questions are then given by each student to the teacher. Each student then has to sit in front of the class, and the teacher interviews each "Stalin" whilst the rest of the class takes notes.
Splat the Stalinist! [interactive]
Designed to help students learn about the significance of key characters of the Stalinist period in a fun way!
B. Rise to Power
A re-cap on the political situation in Russia in the early 1920s, a historiographical overview of the importance of the topic, some possible exam questions, and a discussion of Stalin's qualities (teacher version here).There is a completed teacher version available.
Divisions in the party before 1924
This worksheet focuses on the divisions in the party caused by the Red Terror, Civil War, War Communism and NEP. As such it provides a good introduction to some of the main characters such as Trotsky, Bukharin and Tukhachevsky. There is a completed teacher version available.
Who should succeed Lenin?
Students consider a comprehensive list of statements which outline the strengths and weaknesses of the main contenders for power. Using any sources available, students write “S” for Strength, “W” for weakness, in the appropriate column for each row where T=Trotsky, K=Kamenev, Z=Zinoviev, S=Stalin, B=Bukharin. There is a completed teacher version available.
Essay Planning and Preparation
Students are provided with a detailed list of factors relating to Stalin's rise to power. These are organised under 3-5 headings. The following headings might give you some
ideas: Political | Economic | Personal | Stalin's Strengths | Opposition Weaknesses | Stalin's Successes | Opposition Mistakes | Lenin's Mistakes | Lenin's Weaknesses. There is a completed teacher version available.
Animal Farm: How useful is it for the historian studying Stalin's Rise to Power?
This can be used either towards the end of the unit, or as a revision exercise nearer to the examination. Students watch the first 37 minutes or so of the 1950s cartoon version of the film (which covers the rise of Stalin and which can easily be bought through Amazon). As they watch it, make a note of all of the characters, events, places and themes which are covered in the story, and in brackets make a note of what they think they actually represent (e.g. Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, the 1905 Revolution, the Comintern, the Civil War....). Plenty of ideas and guidance is provided in the worksheet.