Document Based Lesson – Romanovs

For my document based lesson I will be examining the differences between the movie “Anastasia” and what actually happened involving the Romanovs and the Tsarina.

This lesson is ideally for Freshman who are having their first exposure to how media can affect their beliefs of what is true or false. It could be included in any World History course such as the Global Perspectives course that is offered at my school to Sophomores.

Generative Question: How does media affect people’s perception of events?

The students will begin by watching the movie “Anastasia” (1997). They will document what they “learned” from the movie. We will then examine a documentary showing what happened according to the latest historical record as well as primary sources in the form of Anastasia’s diaries and pictures of the royal family. Next they will compare what they know with that extra information to what they got out of the movie. In addition and to add an individual element, the students will follow the same model while researching Rasputin. We will end the unit by having a discussion about our generative question.

Nicholas II of Russia with the family (left to right): Olga, Maria, Nicholas II, Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. Livadiya, 1913.
Nicholas II of Russia with the family (left to right): Olga, Maria, Nicholas II, Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. Livadiya, 1913.

https://sites.google.com/site/dblrealromanovs/

One Reply to “Document Based Lesson – Romanovs”

  1. Great question: How does media affect people’s perception of events? (Though I wonder if maybe you’re asking “how it shapes popular understanding of history?” But no need to split hairs.)

    Most of what students know of history they are getting from Disney and Pixar. This lesson is a great way to harness student interest in those films and build historical thinking skills. Good practice for critical analysis of all kinds of contemporary issues as well.

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