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.