“Successes Spoken by Everyone”: Collectivization and Propaganda is Stalin’s Soviet Union


This lesson is intended for ninth grade  Modern World History students, though it could be adapted for any high school level. Students will be required, following the SHEG model of historical thinking, to corroborate, contextualize, and use close reading strategies. The essential question to be used to guide students’ learning is the following: How does power create reality? Can power create reality?

The documents students will be asked to examine include propaganda posters, socialist realist art, charts of data on collectivization, testimonies from Soviet refugees, and documents from the Soviet government/officials.

The central focus that students are working toward and will be asked to create at the end of the document based lesson will be a work of “people’s propaganda.” This will require students to analyze the documents, decide what is true about the time period of collectivization, and visually represent this in the style of propaganda (big letters, slogans, colorful imagery, etc).

The website that further lays out this lesson can be found here: https://sites.google.com/view/collectivizationintheussr

Image Source:

“Strengthen working discipline in collective farms” – Tashkent, Uzbekistan (1933) from the Mardjani Foundation

Taken from this site., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31547128



One Reply to ““Successes Spoken by Everyone”: Collectivization and Propaganda is Stalin’s Soviet Union”

  1. A great idea for exploring the connection between art, politics and popular persuasion. Socialist realist art is so powerful. It should make for some great examples for students to explore. A great follow up activity would be for students to explore the persuasive power of art in their media landscape.

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