March was the anniversary of the February Revolution and Women’s history month

... and I was a complete slacker, so my apologies. However, I am going to address both of these topics now, in this post, as they are related. Where does the Russian Revolution fit into the IB DP History program? I would have to say just about everywhere if you teach 20th century history.  World War I and the Russian Revolutions were the most formative events of that century, and we feel their effects to this day.  Today, I am going to address Russia, ...

New IB History Study Guides Available!

History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 and History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 have been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and are available to order now! These guides are written by experienced IB History teacher and OSC Subject Advisor, Joe Gauci. Find out more below.     History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 uses emergence and rule of Nazi Germany as a discrete example. History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 focuses on Soviet Russia under Lenin and Stalin.       These ...

Extended Essay May 2017: the final countdown

This time of year is stressful for history teachers: we tend to have a lot EEs, we are trying to mark and enter our IA grades and we have to determine predicted grades.  We are also still teaching our classes, trying to finish the syllabus and also help students revise for the IB exams.  Just when we think everything is going well, a student raises her hand and asks, "What exactly is paper 1?" Well, at least the EE is drawing ...

Another approach to Literature and Film

For Part 4, many of us think of linking longer works such as novels to feature films.  However, another imaginative and productive approach might be this one, suggested by a workshop participant: poetry and short videos. YouTube, in particular, provides many options for creating this kind of linkage.  For example, you might want to create an anthology of poems about animals as one of your works. Blake's 'The Tyger' always seems a success with students with its mysterious tone and hypnotic ...

The February 1917 Revolution

The February revolution took place from 23 February to 3 March according to the Julian calendar, or 8-16 March according to the Gregorian, or current calendar, in Russia.  Either way, the centennial of this revolution is upon us. This was a spontaneous rising that marked a convergence of factors. Since the revolution took place there have been numerous theories as to what was the most important cause but most can agree on a list of causes: War weariness Poor conditions on ...

History Paper 1: The Move to Global War Study Guide is Available Now!

History Paper 1: The Move to Global War has been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and is available to order now! The guide is written by experienced IB History teacher and OSC Subject Advisor, Joe Gauci. Find out more below.     The Move to Global War This revision guide provides a clear description of the course content for the IBDP History syllabus Paper 1, covering all the required topics within the prescribed subject: the Move to Global War. To help you get ...

Conditions in Russia in January 1917

Weather is really important in history but it isn't always easy to make historical arguments based on the weather.  I mean, winter in Russia can be an exception; after all, it defeated more armies than the ******** (you fill it in, I'm not risking accusations of cultural insensitivity). As January draws to a close it is worth it to consider the conditions in Russia a century ago.  Interestingly, many who study this time period make note of the weather: in Petrograd and ...

World History Topic 10: Authoritarian States

"May I choose Margaret Thatcher as an authoritarian leader?" This came from one of my cheekier students.  After we finished units on Lenin and Stalin, I thought I would try an experiment and allow students to choose their own authoritarian regimes.  I was expecting a number of different examples but this was far from what I expected to hear.  And he asked not once, but twice.  And yes, he's English. As I was trying to patiently explain why Thatcher would not be ...

December 30: the death of Rasputin and the beginning of the Russian Revolution

December 30th is the centennial of the death of Rasputin.  This is the story that you are most likely to remember from Russian history; years from now  you will be able to recount to your friends the death scene in minute detail, and you will be able to provide all of the salacious details regarding his life and hold over the female members of the aristocracy, but will you remember anything about the historical significance of this man?  And, if ...

Teaching Russia, killing 3 Birds with One Stone and Auld Lang Syne

My last post for the student blog that I finished yesterday, in honor of the centennial of the murder of Rasputin led me to re-examine how to include the Russian Revolutions in the curriculum.  When the World History Topics were 20th century World History Topics, and before Route 1 and Route 2 were ever conceived of, certain topics were taught by most IB History teachers, most notably World War I and the Russian Revolutions.  This was further reinforced by the ...