Soviet Aggression after World War II
Students investigate a series of landmark events that shaped the Cold War: the Berlin airlift, the Truman Doctrine, and the creation of NATO. Then, students use evidence to develop and support a point of view about the Truman Doctrine and NATO.
Economic Impact of the Cold War
Students examine ways in which defense spending affected the Cold War economy. Next, students study the GATT Treaty of 1947, which greatly stimulated world economic growth. Students examine the issue of balancing military and civilian spending by pondering President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address, which warned of the increasing dominance of the military-industrial complex. Finally, they examine differing points of view by identifying and analyzing two recent articles that take opposite sides on the issue.
The Korean War
Students begin with a map-based activity that challenges them to pose questions about Korea. Next, they learn the facts about the events of the Korean War. Then, they examine the effects of the war, including its lasting impact on the United States and the world. Finally, they work in small groups to prepare a report on the current conflict between North Korea and the United States.
Students are introduced to the U.S. economy and culture of the postwar era by watching a brief video clip and a photo-essay about teenagers in the 1950s. Then, they read, summarize, and present articles on the postwar economic boom and its effects, including the GI Bill and the baby boom. Next, students explore artistic developments of the era. Finally, they learn about the development of the polio vaccine and its impact on American families.
John F. Kennedy’s Foreign Policy
Students analyze a political cartoon from 1962 illustrating the urgency to calm Cold War nuclear tensions. Then, they make a timeline of major international crises of the Kennedy administration, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Next, they examine the causes and effects of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Finally, students turn to the ongoing questions related to the Kennedy assassination, using it to evaluate the validity of sources and how historians understand the past.
Origins of the Vietnam War
Students begin by sharing prior knowledge about the Vietnam War. Then, they learn about the origins of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and acquire facts. Next, they analyze the domino theory as it relates to U.S. interventions against communism. Finally, they evaluate a group of arguments for and against U.S. intervention in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War
Students watch a video in which a Vietnam War veteran reminiscences about his battle experiences. Then, they analyze major issues of the war, including the escalation and the Tet Offensive. Next, they research a timeline of the war and make their own of major events during the war. Then, they study the constitutional issue behind the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the War Powers Act of 1973. Finally, they reflect on the heroism of Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Anti-War Movement
Students view Vietnam War protest photos and videos and give their views on the protests. Then, they consider the effects of the anti-war movement on American history and popular culture. Finally, they learn the reasons for passage of the 26th Amendment and discuss its impact.
The Election of 1968
Students view primary source video of the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Then, they study the convention and its political context in more detail. Next, they learn about Richard Nixon’s election as president in 1968. Finally, they use the candidacy of George Wallace as an entry point for learning about and evaluating the role of third-party political candidates in the United States.
The End of the Vietnam War
Students engage with two issues arising from the fall of Saigon: boat people and “black ops” to evacuate South Vietnamese from Vietnam. Then, they learn about the events leading to the war’s end. Next, they analyze long-term consequences of the war. Finally, students create an infographic about the postwar experience of Vietnamese emigrants.