HEAVEN ON EARTH: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIALISM
Grade Level 9-12
Download PDF (Requires Adobe Acrobat)
Heaven On Earth traces the evolution of socialism from the industrial revolution to the present day
through profiles of leaders and thinkers. The film focuses on the many ways that nations have interpreted
theories of socialism. The stories show powerful examples of the consequences of ideas. Heaven On Earth
is not a comprehensive history but provides a broad picture of socialismís impact on world events in the
19th and 20th centuries.
This film can be used in a variety of ways. Most segments can operate as self-contained biographies,
running approximately 9-12 minutes long. Go to the Synopsis
section on the website to see segment descriptions. Teachers can either use individual segments to focus
on a specific historical figure or use interview transcripts
and the other resources on the website to lead students through larger historical movements. Many of the
segments in Hours 2 and 3 return to stories started earlier in the program to track changes over time.
Capitalism vs. Communism
The Russian Revolution, American Labor at the beginning of the 20th century
and Socialism in Canada:
Vladimir Lenin and
Familiarize students with the ideas that continued to shape socialism and Marxism
in the 19th century. Show how those ideas were implemented in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. Contrast reactions to socialism in America and Russia.
Critical Thinking Skills: History and Perspective
This lesson uses three examples to show the challenge of discussing socialismís
controversial history: Socialism in Tanzania,
the transformation of the British Labour Party under
and contemporary scholarsí views on the future of socialism.
Each example uses interviews with participants who have directly opposing points of view.
In this set of exercises, students will examine historical events through the words of
participants who have very different perspectives. Students should gain an understanding of
the events described but also begin to see how the biases of participants shape their
recollection and interpretation of events. These exercises could be used in units focusing
on the specific historic periods described or as a way of discussing general historical
analysis, bias and perspective.
Socialism in the Jewish Kibbutz Movement
Using interviews with the original settlers of one Israeli Kibbutz and their children,
students can discuss the relationship between socialism, religious beliefs and the
Zionist movement for a Jewish state.
In this lesson, students will examine the role that socialism played in unifying settlers
in a Jewish Kibbutz and how attitudes toward socialism changed with subsequent generations.
Students can compare the experience described by the kibbutzim of Kibbutz Ginosar with
Robert Owenís utopian community at New Harmony.
Educational Content by John Sorensen
Web Construction by Bienvenido Concepcion