Tuesday, September 17

Breaking Stalin's Nose + Josef Stalin Unit Study

Serving under Lenin until 1924, Joseph (Josef) Stalin created a climate of propaganda, paranoia, and fear in the Soviet Union until his death in 1953.  He transformed the USSR from an agrarian (agricultural) society to an industrialized one, but also created the greatest man-made famine in history and began the "Great Purge" of the 1930s.

Stalin maintained control of his people with an iron fist.  He imprisoned millions of citizens, including political opponents, critics, and even innocent citizens who had done no wrong.  Secret police, informers, and begrudged neighbors often turns people in under accusations or mere heresay (similar to gossip).  These people were often forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit through torture and imprisonment.  

During the Great Purge (1934-1939), an estimated 700,000 prisoners were executed for being 'enemies of the working class.'  Later under Stalin's reign, the Soviet Union came out as a major world power after World War II.  They also developed a nuclear program.

At its most basic, Communism is the idea that all people should share the wealth of the world.  No person should have more than anyone else, and no one should own personal property.  Stalin's vision of Communism can still be seen today in places like North Korea.

Our spine read for this unit is Breaking Stalin's Nose 

Access the complete unit study in the World History Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes seven unit studies (plus a bonus!) covering World History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning from Pompeii to World War 2.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

Product samples:   The Night Witches & Women in Aviation   &   The Lookout Tree & the Great Acadian Upheaval

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!


  1. I have always enjoyed studying Russian history - I was fortunate enough to have a professor from Russia teach my Russian history class in college. Very interesting to listen to her talk about her father's experiences during the early years of Communism.

    1. The stories are fascinating, aren't they? If not a little sad. My best friend's parents both immigrated from Russia to the USA pre-WW2 and had interesting stories...


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