Activity Overview

The Russian Revolution was inspired by the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx in 1848. Marx was writing in response to the social injustices that he witnessed as a result of the Industrial Revolution. When Lenin and the Bolsheviks began their revolution in 1917, they were unable to follow the blueprint described by Marx 70 years earlier.

Students will analyze how and why ideologies change when they are put into practice in a T-Chart. The left column identifies elements of a communist society the way Marx envisioned them. The right hand column will be student-created. This column will show how closely Stalin followed the original intent of Marx’s Communist Manifesto. In most cases, the theory and the practice were far apart.

Communist Ideologies to Analyze

  • Society Without Classes
  • Private Property is Eliminated
  • Equality Between Genders
  • Social Ownership of Production
  • Role of Government

Extended Activity

This activity can be extended in a number of ways. Students could create a third column of cells about the realities of China under Mao. Students could also assess whether or not the changes that Lenin, Stalin, and Mao made to Marx’s original ideology were justified.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a T Chart comparing and contrasting the ideologies of communism and the way Marx's writings played out.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In one column, note the different ideologies Marx presents in the Communist Manifesto.
  3. In the other column, describe how Stalin followed those ideologies.
  4. Illustrate each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/1] Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
  • [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.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Compare and Contrast Texts/Renditions
Create a storyboard that compares the text with one or more texts, versions, or history.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Comparison Analysis
Text and images include a clear explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics. These comparisons go beyond superficial elements and show strong understanding of the story elements.
Text and images include an explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics, but the explanation may lack clarity or show only superficial understanding in some squares.
Text and images may include no explanation of similarities and/or differences, or they may make only superficial or inaccurate comparisons.
Textual Explanation
The text clearly and accurately describes all the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text clearly and accurately describes most of the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text fails to describe most of the scenes clearly and accurately.
Storyboard Image and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting, characters and specific scene of the book. The scene is clearly identifiable based on the graphic depiction.
Student attempts to convey the setting, characters, and specific scene through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey the setting, characters, and scene.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

Image Attributions
  • Mansion 1-Close up • Cristina_Frost • License Attribution (
  • Marshall Stalin • The National Archives UK • License No known copyright restrictions (
  • Tobolsk Kremlin • Ӎѧҧ@Ҷҿ • License Attribution (
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