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Russian Revolution Teaching Resources

Published: March 6, 2017

Pulitov workers protesting in the streets.

March 8th marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the February Revolution and the downfall of the Romanov Empire.  Historians, the Media and museums have made available some incredible resources that will allow teachers to bring the classroom alive with the sights, sounds and people of 1917 Russia. Here is an annotated list of my favorite interactive media projects and online primary document archives. There are so many possibilities of how you could use these resources in the classroom. 

Happy Teaching,

 

Rebecca “Natasha” Blankenship

Asst. Dean and History Teacher

 

Interactive Media

http://arzamas.academy/materials/1269

Online quiz that allows you to find out who you would have been in 1917: an Anarchist, a Cadet, a Right SR, a Bolshevik or a member of the Black Hundreds.  This quiz is available in both Russia and English.

https://project1917.com/

Ever wonder what Nicholas II, Lenin or the French Ambassador would have tweeted if Twitter existed in 1917.  Well now you can! This is an incredible undertaking by RT and Russian scholars to use diaries, letters, memoirs and other documents to craft tweets of the events of 1917 as key historical figures might have written.  You can follow #1917Live on Twitter or check the 1917 website.

https://project1917.ru/tinder

This “tinderesque” app is an engaging ( and high school appropriate) way for students to become familiar with the key figures of the events 1917 such as Lenin, Tsar Nicholas, Rosa Luxembourg, etc. It is only available in Russian.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/russia/

BBC’s Bitesize History has animated review videos about the Revolution, The Bolsheviks and Stalin aimed at a young adults with its wry humor.  The site includes quizzes, activities and short readings.

 

Primary Documents

http://web.mit.edu/russia1917/index.html

This is a great source for both online and print primary documents about the 1917 Revolution. One of the most engaging aspects of this site for student is the interactive parallel timelines for workers, peasants, soldiers and activists. 

http://www.sovietposters.com/showposters.php?cat=10

A good source for propaganda posters from 1917 and the Civil War.  Propaganda posters are a wonder resource to use even if students do not read Russian.  Artists relied heavily on the imagery to convey meaning as it was likely most of the peasant and worker audiences were illiterate.

http://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/russian-revolution-documents/

This is a solid collection of primary documents from 1917 as well as a detailed chronology of events.

https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/explorefurther/digital/russia/visitors/

A series of reports, photographs and other documents of eye witness accounts of the early years of the Soviet Union by foreign visitors. 

http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1681193,00.html

Time magazine’s compelling photo essay allows students to see the events of 1917 through the lens of gorgeous black and white photos taken during the Revolution.

http://www.dhr.history.vt.edu/modules/eu/mod03_1917/

An online teaching module on 1917 with a great section of primary sources including revolutionary songs, pictures and maps.