Overview of Unit

This unit will focus on the factors that determine the success of countries.  The newer nation-states of the former Soviet Union, including Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, and Belarus will all provide investigative case studies for us to explore during this unit.  We begin by establishing some background knowledge about Russia’s history including the communist revolution, the style of government, the living conditions, and the fall of the USSR in the early 1990’s.  From there, we will take on the role of the international committee charged with making the decision about where to hold the “Geogames.”  This fictional athletic event will require its host nation to demonstrate a level of political and economic stability worthy of the event.  Students will interpret data, compare results, and weigh multiple factors before eventually making a decision about awarding one host country the games.

Students will work hard to understand the vocabulary and concepts presented during the USSR/Nation-States unit.  They will make use of written text, maps, charts, graphs, videos, authentic activities, etc. as they seek an answer to the unit’s essential question which is: 

What factors determine the success of new nation states?

Unit Assessment

Students will be assessed throughout the unit through a variety of means including homework assignments, class discussions, quizzes, and eventually a performance task writing assignment.  The unit’s culminating task will ask students to consider five other world countries that have been established within the last twenty years and their chances of realizing long term success.  During this task students will employ their knowledge from the “Geogames” activity and apply it to a new set of circumstances.  During the task students will need to think critically and decipher information provided to them as they select one nation who they feel will have long term success.

The USSR/Nation-States Unit aligns with the Common Core State Standards in the following areas:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1:  Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.5:  Describe how the text presents information (e.g. sequentially, comparatively, casually).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7:  Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.