Browse Teaching
Guides on commonly taught topics in world history along with selected primary and secondary sources, discussion questions, teaching strategies, differentiation, interactive activities, and annotated bibliographies.

Outline: Letters of Milada Horáková

Horáková makes a good case study for several reasons. One of the most prominent European feminists of the first half of the 20th century, she was an active member of the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1940, she and her husband, Bohuslav, spent the rest of World War II in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp.

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Lesson Plan: The Romanian Revolution of 1989

The December 1989 revolution in Romania has been the subject of scholarly discussions, passionate debates, conspiracy theories, and political struggles. In 2004, for instance, an Institute for the study of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (IRRD) was founded in Bucharest, headed by then President Ion Iliescu whose term in office was soon to expire.

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Outline: Consumerism in Poland

Throughout Eastern Europe, the decade of the 1980s was a time of significant change, including the everyday lives of average citizens. This case study looks at visual representations of consumer culture in Poland in an effort to examine the larger role that consumer goods played in the daily lives of those who lived in Eastern Europe.

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Outline: Memory in East Germany

This case study examines how a group of East German dissidents re-appropriated the memory of Rosa Luxemburg and turned her writing against the Communist Party during an annual parade in January 1988.

This outline includes an essay containing context, discussion questions, and a guide to incorporating the three primary sources.

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Outline: Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate

In June 1987, President Reagan delivered an important speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin. This case study looks at how to use the speech as a means to examine US foreign policy and the end of the Cold War.

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Outline: Women in Romania

Using oral histories, this case study explores various aspects of women’s daily lives in Communist Romania and women’s attitudes toward the changes wrought by the transformation to a pluralist system and to a market economy after the collapse of the regime in December 1989.

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Outline: Soviet Health Posters

This case study examines two posters that address the increasingly embarrassing and difficult health crisis of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout this period, the poster remained the most typical form of propaganda and thus are an important element in teaching the Soviet experience.

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Activity: Simulating the Velvet Revolution

This case study simulates the process of the extraordinarily quick (and often peaceful) overthrow of various communist regimes is Eastern Europe in 1989. The simulation provides a powerful experiential study of how dissent can quickly cascade through a group, leading to fast, dramatic change.

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Lesson Plan: Solidarity Comes to Power in Poland, 1989

In retrospect, it seems predictable that the first opposition group in the Soviet bloc to succeed in unseating a communist regime would be Poland’s Solidarity movement.

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Lesson Plan: Everyday Life in Eastern Europe in the 1980s

Explaining the causes of an event as large, complicated, and significant as the revolutions of 1989 and the end of Communist single-party rule and the Cold War is no small task.

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