Since I joined TpT in May 2015, thirty-five teachers have purchased this product. I am an award winning (see profile), ex-HS Global Studies, ex - AP Comparative Politics teacher now teaching at the University of Rhode Island.
After using inadequate excerpts on Communism found in US History or World History textbooks, I decided to write my own description. Instead of the one page descriptions found in textbooks, I use seven pages to help the student understand this very controversial topic. This topic is so important to understand if they are to understand the post 1917 world. I cover the following topics in my review of Communism:
1) A CLASSLESS SOCIETY
2) PRIVATE OR PUBLIC OWNERSHIP
3) COMPETITION VS COOPERATION
4) WHO MAKES THE DECISIONS REGARDING WHAT TO PRODUCE AND HOW TO DISTRIBUTE?
5) WHY WOULD ANYONE WORK HARD IN A COMMUNIST SYSTEM?
6) HOW WOULD COMMUNISTS COME TO POWER? WOULD THE CAPITALISTS ALLOW COMMUNISM TO TAKE OVER?
7) WHAT WOULD MARX’S COMMUNIST UTOPIA LOOK LIKE?
8) WHAT MIGHT MARX HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE FAILURE OF COMMUNISM IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY?
9) MARXISM AND RELIGION
10) COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM
This 7 page review of the philosophy of Communism is a great way to start the study of Marxist systems in the AP Gov't and Politics course.
Included in the seven pages are numerous questions which lend themselves to in-depth class discussion, and simulation.
What I do for Communism activities:
1) Sometimes I will play the role of a Marxist. As such, sometimes I dress up as Marx, and attach a beard. Sometimes, I dress as a hippie. Students confront me, on the issues in the document, and I respond as Marx might have.
2) Sometimes, I divide the class in two: Marxists, and Capitalists, and I moderate as we move from one section of the document to the next.
3) With more sophisticated students, I might divide them into four groups: Communists, Socialists, Liberal Democrats and Laissez Faire Capitalists.
4) When we deal with the Communism topic, any time a student is munching on a snack, I take it from them, and I begin distributing it to the class members.
5) You can get lots of heartfelt comments if you say they there is a movement afoot to do away with grades, or to give everyone a B. AP students flip on this suggestion!