Cold War Unit Plan

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					Cold War & America Today Unit Plan
1) Overview
Title: Unit 11 - The Cold War & America Today
Course: Honors U.S. History
Grade level: 11th

This is the final unit of the U.S. history curriculum, in which students will learn about the origins, policies, and impact of
the Cold War on both the United States and the rest of the world. In addition, students will learn about the major events,
people, and policies of America’s most recent decades, all the way up to the presidency of Barack Obama and the
continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unit will be taught in seven block periods – five periods of instruction, one
period of review for the unit test, and the final period used for giving the unit test.

This unit follows the unit on the civil rights movement which occurred simultaneously with the early part of the Cold War.
While the civil rights movement centered on domestic issues involving equality, the Cold War directed U.S. attention
towards the threat of the other world superpower – the communist U.S.S.R. The Cold War set the framework for global
policies for almost half a century following the end of World War II. Essentially, this war was a competition between two
very different ways of organizing government, society, and the economy: the belief in democracy, individual freedom, and
a free-market economy (upheld by the United States and other western nations), and the belief in a totalitarian state and
socialism (upheld by the U.S.S.R.). The United States and the U.S.S.R. struggled for ideological, political, and nuclear
dominance throughout the Cold War, narrowly avoiding actual warfare on several occasions, such as the Cuban missile

The Cold War impacted the United States both immediately and long-term, most notably through U.S. involvement in the
Vietnam War – a conflict which deeply divided the nation and left many Americans skeptical of future interventions in
global affairs. Nevertheless, the involvement of the United States in other areas of the world has been an integral part of
U.S. foreign policy since the Cold War. The Cold War influenced American domestic politics, the role of the government
in the economy, and the culture of fear perpetuated in part by “McCarthyism.”

Through this unit, students will gain a deeper understanding of how the Cold War emerged from the decisions made during
and after World War II, as well as how the United States dealt with its longest “war” domestically and internationally.
Also, students will understand the connections between the Cold War-era policies and the conflicts currently facing the
United States today in the global arena.

The Cold War ushered in the America students know today, which includes: an expanded role of the Supreme Court,
immigration issues, the influence of media/technology, the role of government in the economy, and the threats of
international terrorism. Today’s students are growing up in the shadow of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the “digital
age” and most recently, a troubled economy. In addition, the immigration debates have special poignancy in the classroom,
as many students and/or their parents may be immigrants themselves. In this unit, students will conclude their study of
U.S. history by examining the most important issues the United States currently faces and the connections between present-
day headlines and historical decisions.

A major focus of this lesson will be writing, specifically one-paragraph responses to hook activities, three-paragraph
homework assignments, and a five-paragraph essay answering one of the unit’s essential questions. The essential questions
will be included in the powerpoint lectures each day, to remind the students of the unit’s focus. Each instructional lesson
includes a hook activity to spark students’ interest in the day’s lesson topic, as well as an in-class activity that requires
students to interact with the content they are learning about in the lectures. The students will be participating in a mini
“concept formation” activity on the definitions and differences between capitalism, communism, and socialism;
additionally, they will also be participating in a mini Socratic seminar on Pres. Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech.

2) Rationale
3) Standards aligned with unit
VUS.1 - The student will demonstrate skills for historical and geographical analysis and responsible citizenship, including
the ability to
         a) identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary source documents, records, and data, including artifacts,
diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers, historical accounts, and art to increase understanding of events and life
in the United States
         d) develop perspectives of time and place, including the construction of maps and various timelines of events,
periods, and personalities in American history
         e) communicate findings orally and in analytical essays and/or comprehensive papers
         h) interpret the significance of excerpts from famous speeches and other documents

VUS.13 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of United States foreign policy since World War II by
       b) explaining the origins of the Cold War, and describing the Truman Doctrine and the policy of containment of
communism, the American role of wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) in Europe
       c) explaining the role of America’s military and veterans in defending freedom during the Cold War
       d) explaining the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, including the role of Ronald Reagan in
making foreign policy
       e) explaining the impact of presidents of the United States since 1988 on foreign policy

VUS.15 - The student will demonstration knowledge of economic, social, cultural, and political developments recent
decades and today by
        a) examining the role the United States Supreme Court has played in defining a constitutional right to privacy,
affirming equal rights, and upholding the rule of law
        b) analyzing the changing patterns of immigration, the reasons new immigrants choose to come to this country,
their contributions to contemporary America, and the debates over immigration policy
        c) explaining the media influence on contemporary American culture and how scientific and technological
advances affect the workplace, health care, and education
        d) examining the impact of the “Reagan Revolution” on federalism, the role of government, and state and national
elections since 1988
        e) assessing the role of government actions that impact the economy
        f) assessing the role of the United States in a world confronted by international terrorism

NCSS Strand VI – Power, Authority, & Governance
         e) compare different political systems (their ideologies, structure, institutions, processes, and political cultures)
with that of the United States, and identify representative political leaders from selected historical and contemporary
         f) analyze and evaluate conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and
among nations
         i) evaluate the extent to which governments achieve their stated ideals and policies at home and abroad

NCSS Strand VII – Production, Distribution, & Consumption
      f) compare how values and beliefs influence economic decisions in different societies

4) Goals
By the end of this unit, the students will be able to 1) define the Cold War, 2) understand the impact of the Cold War on
American political and cultural history, 3) understand the connection between Cold War era policies and the United States
today, and 4) improve their responsive writing ability.

5) Objectives
A. Academic content objectives
By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

               Objective                                 Standard(s)                         Instruction & Assessment
       Describe the Cold War, the                  VUS.13b                    Lecture on origins and
        major events/nations/people,                NCSS: VI (e) and (i)        elements of the Cold War
        and the reasons why this war
        differed from WW I and II
       Identify the differences                    NCSS: VII (f)              Lecture on origins and
        between democracy,                                                       elements of the Cold War
        communism, and socialism                                                Mini concept formation lesson
                                                                                3 paragraphs and illustration
                                                                                 assignment on differences
                                                                                 between capitalism,
                                                                                 communism, and socialism
       Evaluate the Korean &                       VUS.13b                    Assigned textbook reading and
        Vietnam Wars in the context of              NCSS: VII (i)               questions worksheet on origins
        the Cold War                                                             of the Korean/Vietnam Wars
                                                                                Lecture on Korean & Vietnam
                                                                                Primary source reading on
                                                                                 Korean/Vietnam Wars
                                                                                Class discussion
                                                                                “3 2 1” homework assignment
       Identify the U.S. foreign policy            VUS.13b                    Lecture on Korean/Vietnam
        strategies and their                        NCSS: VII (f) and (i)       Wars
        effectiveness                                                           “3 2 1” homework assignment
                                                                                Lecture on the Cuban missile
       Evaluate the impact of the                  VUS.13c                    Lecture on the impact of the
        Cold War on the American                                                 Cold War on the American
        homefront                                                                homefront
                                                                                Document analysis stations
       Identify the factors involved in            VUS.13d                    Assigned reading for Socratic
        the collapse of the U.S.S.R.                                             seminar
        and the end of the Cold War                                             “Entrance ticket” for Socratic
                                                                                Lecture on the end of the Cold
                                                                                Mini Socratic seminar on
                                                                                 Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech
       Describe the connections                    VUS.13e                    Lecture on impact of U.S.
        between Cold War era policies                                            presidents since 1988
        and recent presidential                                                 Investigation of Afghanistan
        decisions                                                                activity
       Identify the key elements of                VUS.15b-f                  Lecture on America today
        current important issues in the                                         Textbook hunt
        United States

B. Skills objectives
By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

              Objective                                  Standard(s)                  Assessment
       Analyze primary and                         VUS.1a                     Answer questions on assigned
        secondary written/media                                                  textbook reading for
        sources                                                                  Korean/Vietnam Wars
                                                                                Response to Vietnam War
                                                                                 video clip
                                                                                Annotation of primary source
                                                                                           reading on Korean/Vietnam
                                                                                          Reponse to Thirteen Days film
                                                                                          Document analysis stations
                                                                                          Reading of texts for Socratic
                                                                                           seminar and entrance ticket
                                                                                          Socratic seminar discussion
       Create a timeline of historical         VUS.1d                                   Cold War timeline
       Write one-paragraph                     VUS.1e                                   Responses to Vietnam War
        responses, three-paragraph                                                         video clip, Thirteen Days film
        homework assignments, and a                                                        clip, Reagan video
        five-paragraph essay                                                              3 paragraphs on
                                                                                          socialism
                                                                                          “3 2 1” assignment
                                                                                          5-paragraph essay answering
                                                                                           one of the essential questions
       Participate in a Socratic               VUS.1h                                   Socratic seminar on Reagan’s
        seminar discussion                                                                 Berlin Wall speech

6) Essential Questions

Question                                                      Instruction & Assessment
Was the Cold War a “real” war?                                    Initial response to question on day 1
                                                                  Class discussion after Korean/Vietnam
                                                                  Class discussion after Socratic seminar
                                                                  5 paragraph essay
Were U.S. foreign policies during the Cold                        Initial response to question on day 1
War “successful”?                                                 “3 2 1” homework assignment
                                                                  5 paragraph essay

How did the Cold War affect the United States                      Initial response to question on day 1
at home?                                                           Document analysis stations activity
                                                                   Lecture on impact of the Cold War at
                                                                   Lecture on American military
                                                                    involvement in Cold War
                                                                   5 paragraph essay

7) Outline of content
I. Origins of the Cold War
         A. Definition of “Cold War”
                  a. “The competition that developed after World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union for
power and influence in the world, lasting until the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
         B. Length of war
                a. 1945-1991
        C. Starkly different fundamental values
                a. United States – democratic political institutions, generally free market economic system
                b. Soviet Union – totalitarian government with a communist (socialist) economic system

II. Elements of the Cold War
        A. Truman Doctrine of “containment of communism”
        B. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
        C. Warsaw Pact
        D. Communist takeover of China
        E. Nuclear weapons and arms race
                 a. Policy of “massive retaliation”
        F. Differences between Cold War and WW I&II

III. Korean War
        A. Reflected Cold War policy of containment of communism
        B. Invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea
        C. United Nations counterattack led by U.S. military forces; communist Chinese forces entered on side of N. Korea
        D. Ended in stalemate

IV. Cuban missile crisis
       A. Site of Cold War confrontations
       B. Fidel Castro led communist revolution, took over Cuba in late 1950s
       C. Failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion
       D. 1962 – Soviet Union stationed missiles in Cuba; world on brink of nuclear war
       E. Soviet leadership backed down, removed missiles

V. Vietnam War
        A. Reflected Cold War policy of containment of communism
        B. 1950s – early 1960s, Communist government of North Vietnam attempted to install communist government in
South Vietnam by force; U.S. helped South Vietnam resist
        C. Pres. Kennedy began American military buildup, continued under Pres. Johnson
        D. Scale of combat increased during 1960s
        E. Country bitterly divided over war
        F. Pres. Nixon and policy of “Vietnamization”
        G. Watergate scandal, North and South Vietnam merged under communist control]

VI. American military forces during the Cold War
       A. Pres. Kennedy’s inaugural address
       B. Millions of Americans served in the military
               a. Because of their service, United States and American ideals of democracy/freedom prevailed
       C. Kennedy assassination began period of internal strife, divisiveness
       D. Indifference/hostility toward Vietnam veterans

VII. Role of President Reagan
        A. Challenged moral legitimacy of Soviet Union
                a. Speech at Berlin Wall
        B. Increased U.S. military/economic pressure on Soviet Union

VIII. Impact of the Cold War at home
        A. Fear of communism, threat of nuclear war
                 a. Nuclear attack drills, basement bomb shelters
                 b. Soviet spies, construction of nuclear weapons with technology obtained through spying
                 c. Sen. Joseph McCarthy and “McCarthyism”
        B. Foreign policy became major issue in every presidential election during Cold War period
        C. Heavy military expenditures benefited Virginia’s economy more than any other state
                 a. Hampton Roads – several large naval/air bases
                 b. Northern Virginia – Pentagon, private companies that contracted with military
IX. Internal problems of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War
        A. Increasing military expenses to compete with U.S.
        B. Rising nationalism in Soviet republics
        C. Fast-paced reforms
        D. Economic inefficiency
        E. Gorbachev policies of glasnost and perestroika
        F. Fall of Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union

X. Impact of U.S. presidents since 1988 on foreign policy and legacy of the Cold War
       A. Post-Cold War era goals and policies
               a. Foreign aid (i.e. economic development)
               b. Humanitarian aid
               c. Support human rights
       B. George H.W. Bush
               a. Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe
                        1. Reunification of Germany
                        2. Collapse of Yugoslavia
                        3. Breakup of Soviet state and emergence of independent nations
               b. Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991
                        1. Reasons for war and connection to Cold War
                        2. First war where Americna women served in combat roles
                        3. Operation Desert Storm
       C. William J. “Bill” Clinton
               a. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
               b. Full diplomatic relations with Vietnam
               c. Lifted economic sanctions against South Africa when its government ended the policy of apartheid
               d. Definition of NATO and action in former Yugoslavia, and connection to Cold War
       D. George W. Bush
               a. 9/11/01 terrorist attacks
               b. War in Afghanistan and connection to/legacy of Cold War
               c. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
       E. Barack Obama
               a. Precipitous rise to power, significance of election
               b. Continuation of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

XI. America Today
       A. The Supreme Court
       B. Immigration
                a. Reasons for immigration
                b. Issues related to immigration policy
                c. Contributions of immigrants
       C. Media, science, and technology
                a. Space program
                b. Technological advances
                c. Changes in work/school/healthcare
       D. “Reagan Revolution” and impact of government on the economy
                a. Reagan/conservative Republicans’ policies
                b. Legacy of “Reagan Revolution”
                c. Federal Reserve – controlling supply of money and credit
                d. Fiscal policy decisions by president and Congress determine levels of taxation and spending
       E. International terrorism
                a. Patriot Act
                b. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
                c. Relationships with other countries (Pakistan, etc.)

8) Unit calendar
Day 1 – Origins and elements of the Cold War
Daily objective(s): The students will be able to understand the origins and significant elements of the Cold War through
taking notes from a lecture, and apply the definitions of “capitalism”, “socialism”, and “communism” through a mini
concept formation activity
1. Hook activity: pre-assessment quiz on the Cold War
2. Introduction to unit: initial responses to essential questions
3. Lecture, part 1: origins of the Cold War
4. In-class activity: mini concept formation lesson on capitalism, communism, and socialism
5. Lecture, part 2: elements of the Cold War
Pre-assessment quiz
Initial responses to essential questions
Participation in mini concept formation activity
Homework: 3 paragraph and illustration of economic systems, textbook reading assignment and answers

Day 2 – Korean and Vietnam Wars

Daily objective(s): The students will be able to understand the reasons for/facts about the Korean and Vietname Wars, will
practice annotating a primary source text, and will engage in a class discussion comparing the Korean/Vietnam Wars to the
larger Cold War context.
1. Hook activity: Vietnam War video clip and written paragraph response
2. Lecture: Korean War and Vietnam War
3. In-class activity: “Think-Pair-Share” primary sources activity
4. In-class activity: class discussion on the “hot” Korean/Vietnam Wars vs. the “cold” Cold War
Written paragraph response to video clip
Observation of students during lecture and primary source reading activity
Class discussion
Homework: “3 2 1” assignment (3 paragraphs, 2 wars, 1 verdict)

Day 3 – Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War at home

Daily objectives: The students will be able to identify key facts about the Cuban missile crisis and its significance in the
Cold War, and be able to evaluate the impact of the Cold War on the American home front.
1. Hook activity: clip from Thirteen Days and written paragraph response
2. Lecture, part 1: the Cuban missile crisis
3. In-class activity: museum walk – Cold War at home
4. Lecture, part 2: impact of the Cold War at home
Written response to Thirteen Days clip
Document analysis stations worksheet
Homework: “entrance ticket” to Socratic seminar after reading texts

Day 4 – American military forces during Cold War, impact of Pres. Reagan, end of the Cold War

Daily objectives: The students will be able to engage in a discussion about the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the power of
communism through a mini-Socratic seminar and will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the Cold War by creating
a timeline.
1. Hook activity: video of the day, written response; collect entrance ticket for Socratic Seminar
2. Lecture, part 1: U.S. military involvement, Pres. Reagan’s policies, Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies
3. In-class activity: mini-Socratic seminar on Berlin Wall speech
4. Lecture, part 2: collapse of the U.S.S.R.
5. In-class activity: class discussion - Was the Cold War a “real” war?
Written response to “photo of the day”
Participation in mini-Socratic seminar
Participation in class discussion
Homework: timeline of the Cold War

Day 5 –Impact of U.S. presidents since 1988 on foreign policy and America today

Daily objectives: The students will be able to understand the impacts of different presidential policies/decisions in recent
years and identify the key elements of important current issues
1. Hook activity: “Remember when…”Have the students write down all of the major historical/political events they can
remember from their lifetime
2. Lecture: presidents since 1988, America today
3. In-class activity: “Investigation of Afghanistan” activity
Hook activity response
“Investigation of Afghanistan” activity
Homework: textbook hunt

Day 6 –Review for unit test
Daily objectives: The students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of material from this unit during review
1. In-class activity: Have students look at their initial responses to the essential questions and write a 5-paragraph essay
answering one of the essential questions, based on their lecture notes, textbook, etc.
2. In-class activity: review for unit test: work on review questions worksheet in class, do “Jeopardy!” game with candy
(whoever finds the answer on their worksheet first and is correct gets a piece of candy)
5 paragraph essay
Completion of review questions worksheet
Participation in Jeopardy! game

Day 7 – Unit test
- Administer unit test

9) Assessments and Materials/Resources

                 Day                                    Assessment                                    Material
                                                   Pre-assessment quiz on the                 Unit overview/calendar
                                                    Cold War                                   Pre-assessment quiz
                                                   Initial responses to essential             “Answers to Essential
                                                    questions                                   Questions” half-sheets
                                                   Participation in mini concept              Powerpoint = origins of the
                                                    formation activity                          Cold War; elements of the
                   1                               Written definitions,                        Cold War
                                                    comparisons/contrasts, and                 Notes sheet for Powerpoint
                                                    drawings of the three major                 lecture
                                                    economic systems during the                Mini concept formation
                                                    Cold War (free market                       worksheets
                                                    capitalism, socialism, and                 Day 1 homework sheet
                                                    communism)                                 Directions for 3 paragraphs
                                                   Answers to questions on                     and illustration
                                                    textbook readings about the                Questions on textbook
                                                    Korean and Vietnam Wars                     assigned reading

                                           Written response to video clip              - Vietnam War video clip
                                           Annotation of Korean/Vietnam                - Powerpoint = Korean and Vietnam
                                           primary sources                             Wars
                                           Class discussion                            - Notes sheet for Powerpoint lecture
                            “3 2 1” assignment (3 paragraphs, 2       - “Think-Pair-Share” primary sources
            2               wars, 1 verdict)                          - Annotating reference sheet
                                                                      - Day 2 homework sheet
                                                                              1) Directions for “3 2 1”

                            Written response to Thirteen Days clip    - Thirteen Days clip
                            Document analysis stations worksheet      - Powerpoint = Cuban missile crisis
                             “Entrance ticket” to Socratic seminar    - Documents for stations activity
                            after reading texts                       - Document analysis worksheet
                                                                      - Powerpoint = Cold War at home
                                                                      - Notes sheet for both Powerpoint
            3                                                         lectures
                                                                      - Mini-Socratic seminar texts
                                                                      - Day 3 homework sheet
                                                                               1) “Entrance ticket”
                                                                      assignment half-sheet

                            Written response to Reagan clip           - Powerpoint = American military
                            Participation in mini-Socratic seminar    involvement, Reagan, Gorbachev,
                            Participation in class discussion         collapse of U.S.S.R.
                            Timeline of the Cold War                  - Notes sheet for Powerpoint lecture
            4                                                         - Day 4 homework sheet
                                                                              1) Directions for timeline

                            “Remember when…” written response         - Powerpoint = U.S. presidents since
                            “Investigation of Afghanistan” activity   1988, America today
                            Textbook hunt                             - Notes sheet for Powerpoint lecture
            5                                                         - “Investigation of Afghanistan”
                                                                      - Day 5 homework sheet
                                                                              1) Textbook hunt worksheet

                            5 paragraph essay                         - Review questions worksheet
                            Completion of review questions            - Candy
                            worksheet                                 - Powerpoint = Jeopardy! game
            6               Participation in Jeopardy! game

                            Unit test                                 - Unit test

10) Differentiation and Accommodations

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