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This lesson - the final one in a scheme of work about the Cold War - introduces Year 9 students to the following issues.
- Ronald Reagan and his 'Tear Down This Wall' speech
- The problems facing the USSR and its allies
- Mikhail Gorbachev and his reforms
- Popular protest and uprisings in Eastern Europe.
It starts with an analysis of the Reagan speech (a short 4 minute video available on YouTube), before students categorise the problems facing the USSR and Gorbachev's potential solutions. These solutions are discussed, with students prioritising the problems and solutions, and identifying that the 'solution' for problems in Eastern Europe isn't really a solution at all! This leads nicely on to a brief discussion of popular protest in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany, before students assess the relative importance of the above four factors in the fall of Communism.
This lesson is ideal as an overview of the topic, or as an introduction. It could easily be stretched over two lessons with a little improvisation and expansion of the section on popular protest in Eastern Europe.
Contains: Starter (Video discussion), Main (Card sort/Table activity), Main (Discussion), Plenary (Assessment), Plenary (Exit Questions for Students)