Communism in Russia: Theory and Practice Comparison

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Communism and the Russian Revolution


Communism and the Russian Revolution - Communism in Russia

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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.


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Template and Class Instructions

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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.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Title/Description T-Chart

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