Tsar Alexander III

World History teaching resources for the high school classroom: lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes and simulation games for KS3, IGCSE, IB and A-Level teachers.

I provide here two approaches to studying this unit. The first one is much more punchy and engaging: the teacher takes on the role of the Tsar, and the students as his ministers. Over several hours the 'reformers' and the 'reactionaries' debate the issues whilst the teacher uses the 30-slide presentation to guide the debate and inform students about what has actually been decided. It's a great way to maintain student interest and engagement throughout a unit which might otherwise be rather abstractly academic.

Approach 1: Roleplay Unit (recommended - based around this 30-slide presentation)

Student Resources (Tsar Alexander III)

> Debate PreparationWord Document0.08MB
> Debate Record SheetWord Document0.05MB
> End of the ReignWord Document0.08MB
> Comparison to AlexIIWord Document0.47MB
> Keywords for essayWord Document0.04MB
> TimelineWord Document0.05MB


Teacher Resources (Tsar Alexander III)

> Factual TestWord Document0.26MB
> Factual Test-AlternativeWord Document0.13MB
> Comparison to Alexander IIWord Document0.07MB
> Model Essay by Russel TarrWord Document0.05MB


Approach 2: Worksheet-Based

1. An Introduction to Tsar Alexander III's Reign
An overview of the upbringing and the personality of Tsar Alexander III. To what extent will his personality and politics equip him to be a good ruler of 19th Century Russia?

In-Depth Analysis of the Alexander III's Reign [interactive]
Students make notes from this interactive newsfeed exercise and then organise their findings into various themes and categories using this worksheet. By so doing they start to formulate a view as to how far Alexander's reputation as a reactionary is deserved.


3. Primary Sources and Questions
The next stage is to conduct some in-depth research based around primary sources from the time which cover some of the big themes: politics, education, the famine, the pogroms. These sources come complete with questions and discussion points to further understanding.
4. A Comparison of Alexander II and Alexander III: Research and Essay Planning Exercise
With the main research now completed, students should begin the process of comparing Alexander III to his father. Is it really fair to say that Alexander II was a reformer, and Alexander III a reactionary? This worksheet enables students to start organising their thoughts and provides a suggested essay framework.
5. The End of Alexander III's Reign
This final worksheet covers the last days of Alexander III and invites students to offer some closing judgments about his reign.
6. Keyword Checker: Compare and Contrast the reigns of Tsar Alexander II and Tsar Alexander III [interactive]
Students paste their essay into this interface and get a score based on how many keywords they have included. Excellent for ensuring topic coverage at first-draft phase.

"Who Am I?" Challenge - Tsar Alexander II / III

Each team will be presented with a clue about a key historical figure. They get 50 points if they guess it correctly. If they wish to 'pass', they get further (easier) clues but the points available steadily decline. An incorrect guess at any point means they get zero points for that round. You can play as many rounds as you wish. It's a great way to revise!  

Interactive quizzes on this topic [tips]


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