Why did the Reds win the Russian Civil War? A history mystery to explain why the reds were able to SLUG it out

This lesson encourages students to take their understanding of the events of the Russian Civil War to a new level by ‘making their own meaning’. They use history mystery cards which they have to categorise before looking at attempts by historians to group factors. Lower-attaining students rely on learning a simple mnemonic-SLUG whilst more able have to improve a GCSE answer to turn it into an A* answer.  I am grateful to Paul Roberts, AST for history when in Hampshire, now at Ilfracombe College for his contribution to this lesson.

Learning objectives

  • students analyse and categorise and group specific causes
  • they prioritise their importance and
  • improve an already good GCSE answer, applying their new-found knowledge and understanding

Step 1

Students are shown a short quotation from Hobsbawn (slide 2 on the PowerPoint presentation) trying to explain why the Reds won, which leads onto an analysis of White weaknesses and Red strengths.

Step 2

Students are given 3 minutes to see if they can, in pairs, quickly come up with any ideas under those two headings based on what they know already from studying the events

Step 3

To accelerate the learning, students are then given a set of history mystery

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