Students will collaborate to analyze, compare, and contrast newspaper coverage of events in Crimea and Ukraine in the mid-19th century and early 20th century with 2014 media coverage of events involving Crimea, Ukraine and Russia to illuminate the geopolitical history of the region and consider how examining the past shapes perspectives and understanding of current events.
Enduring Understanding: Events and actions of the past affect the present and the future.
1. As a class, discuss student knowledge and understanding of the current situation involving Crimea, Ukraine and Russia. Create a KWL chart on a white/blackboard and have a scribe fill in the Know column on the board and another scribe create a copy in a digital document. (Alternatively, take a digital picture of the white/blackboard notes at the end of the class).
2. Individually, or as a class, read the background blog post from the Law Librarians of Congress, “Crimean History, Status, and Referendum“. Then add to the KWL chart in both the Know and Want to Know columns. (You may also wish to consult the maps found in the 2009 report listed in the Materials section under Additional Resources below.)
3. Divide students into 6 groups. Instruct each group to read and analyze one historic newspaper article about the Crimea using the primary source analysis tool. They should consider the newspaper articles analysis questions as they complete the analysis.
4. As a class, share what students learned from reading the newspaper articles about the Crimea. Be sure to summarize the information gathered and capture it in a digital document or other easily referenced format.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the historic newspaper articles about the Ukraine and the 2014 articles.
6. Create new groups of students that include at least one student from each of the original groupings. Then direct each group to review all the information gathered and create a special news supplement devoted to the 2014 situation involving Crimea, Ukraine & Russia. Ideally, the supplement will be in digital form and should include the news features listed below.
- News article Summarize the current situation and remember to answer Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
- History of the region Provide background information into the geopolitics of the region. Be sure to include information about all three regional stakeholders: Crimea, Ukraine and Russia. This historical piece may take the form of a feature article or some other interactive news feature. Be creative!
- Timeline of Ukraine You will need to decide how far back to go and what years to include. Use the information provided in the News Timelines of Ukraine (see below) to assist you in the creation of the timeline. (Be sure to consult all of the timelines as they were created by different news organizations from around the world.) You may also use your own research to add to or extend the timeline further back in time.
- Editorial Suggest a course of action to help stabilize or depoliticize the situation. You may write from the perspective of Crimea, Ukraine, Russia. You may also take the perspective of the United States. Be sure to provide direct evidence for why the course of action you propose is the best for all stakeholders.
“Crimean History, Status, and Referendum” In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress blog March 13, 2014
Crimea historical news coverage: 1853-55 & 1917-19
- “The Turkish Question” The Daily Dispatch (Richmond [Va.]), 20 June 1853 (.pdf file)
- “Wars Between Turkey and Russia — Their Causes and Results” Cooper’s Clarksburg Register (Clarksburg, Va. [W. Va.]), 12 April 1854 (.pdf file)
- “The Contest in the Crimea” Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 24 Oct. 1854 (.pdf file)
- “Russia Humbled” from the New York Tribune & “A Pro-Russian Statesman on the Fall of Sevastopol” Spirit of the Times (Ironton, Ohio), 16 Oct. 1855 (.pdf file)
- “The Wonderful Crimea” The Jasper News (Jasper, Mo.), 07 June 1917 (.pdf file)
- “Crimea Delivered” The Bennington Evening Banner (Bennington, Vt.), 10 July 1919 (.pdf file)
Ukraine historical news coverage: 1915-1922
- “The Ukraine, A Forgotten Nation That May Separate from Russia” The Sun (New York [N.Y.]), 10 Oct. 1915 Fifth Section Special Feature Magazine (.pdf file)
- “Ukraine Reborn as Nation After 263 in Serfdom” The Sun (New York [N.Y.]), 22 July 1917 Section 5 Special Feature Supplement (.pdf file)
- “Ukraine’s Struggle for Self-Government” & “Ukraine, Land of Promise” The Kansas City Sun (Kansas City, Mo.), 30 March 1918 (.pdf file)
- “The Ukraine is Europe’s No-man’s Land” New-York Tribune (New York [N.Y.]), 22 June 1919 (.pdf file)
- Memorandum to the government of the United States on the recognition of the Ukrainian people’s republic Friends of Ukraine 1920 (.pdf file)
- “Ukraine Is Independent Republic, Asserts Head” Richmond Times-Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 26 Feb. 1922 (.pdf file)
2014 coverage of events involving Crimea, Ukraine & Russia
- “Ukrainian and Russian views on Crimea” BBC News March 7, 2014
- “Russia’s Move Into Ukraine Said to Be Born in Shadows” New York Times March 7, 2014
- “Ukraine: US Launches a Fascist Government – and World War Three?” Pravda.Ru March 11, 2014
- “Ukraine Premier Makes Plea at the U.N.” New York Times March 14, 2014
- “Russia takes Crimea back” Pravda.Ru March 18, 2014
- “Address by President of the Russian Federation” March 18, 2014 Russian Presidential Executive Office
News Timelines of Ukraine
- Aljazeera – Timeline: Ukraine’s political crisis November 21 2013 to present
- BBC News – Ukraine Crisis Timeline 1991 to present
- European Parliament News – Ukraine timeline: from Euromaidan to the illegal referendum in Crimea 2004 to present
- Mother Jones – Conflict in Crimea: Russia Cites Concern for Estonia’s Russian Minority, Starts Military Exercises Nearby March 14, 2014 to present
- New York Times – Ukraine’s Path to Unrest February 26, 2013 to present
- Winnipeg Free Press – Ukraine Timeline August 24, 1991 to present
- Brookings Scholars on the Ukraine/Crimea Crisis 3/14/14
- “Averting Crisis in Ukraine” January 2009 Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Preventive Action (.pdf file)
- Ukrainian Crisis 2014 University College of London School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library
- World Spotlight: Ukraine TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus
CCSS Standards Alignment
Reading: Informational Text » Grades 9-12
Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Reading: History/Social Studies » Grades 9-12
Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Writing: General & History/Social Studies » Grades 9-12
Standards 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Speaking & Listening » Grades 9-12
Standards 1, 2, 5