Breadcrumb

Europe and the Cold War

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
One to two class periods (Blocks) or 2-3 regular class periods.
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
This lesson will allow students to create a visual representation of the perceived threats to Europe during the Cold War. By placing cities on maps and evaluating the surrounding topography, the students will analyze the Soviet War Plan.
Description

This lesson will be a cooperative learning activity using primary sources, maps, technology, and will address cross-curricular studies through the use of a writing assessment.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

This lesson will allow students to create a visual representation of the perceived threats to Europe during the Cold War. By placing cities on maps and evaluating the surrounding topography, the students will analyze the Soviet War Plan to determine the reason certain cities were chosen. By comparing it to plans from previous wars, they will decide the validity of the plan and create a document stating their findings, with supporting information.

Lesson Objectives - the student will
  • Use map and technology skills to find the cities in the war plan on a map of Europe.
  • Analyze the map to determine the value of targets listed in the war plan.
  • Evaluate the plan as compared to Hitler's blitzkrieg or Schlieffin's plans for World War I, to determine the feasibility of the plans.
  • Create a short statement revealing their findings with supporting data.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met

Missouri: Show Me Standards

  • Social Studies 3: The principles and processes of governance systems.
  • Social Studies 5: The major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement, regions) and their relationships to changes in society and environment.
  • Social Studies 6: The relationships of individuals and groups to institutions and cultural traditions.
  • Social Studies 7: The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents.
  • Performance Goal 1: Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and sills to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas. Performance Goal 2: Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom.
  • Performance Goal 3:Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to recognize and solve problems.

KANSAS STANDARDS

  • Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).
  • 4. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Kennedy and Johnson during the Cold War (e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis, Berlin Wall, Vietnam War, Peace Corp).
  • 5. (A) analyzes domestic life in the United States during the Cold War era (e.g., McCarthyism, federal aid to education, interstate highway system, space as the New Frontier, Johnson's Great Society).

National Standards: U. S. History:

  • Era 9, Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
  • Standard 2A: The Student understands the international origins and domestic consequences of the Cold War. Explain the origins of the Cold War and the advent of nuclear politics. Explain the rationale, implementation and effectiveness of U.S. containment policy.
  • Standard 3A: The student understands the political debates of the post-World War II era.
  • World History Era 9, The 20th Century since 1945:
  •  Promises and Paradoxes Standard 1B: The student understands why global power shifts took place and the Cold War broke out in the aftermath of World War II. Compare the impact of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe with changes that occurred in German and Japanese society under Allied occupation. Explain the causes and international and local consequences of major Cold War Crises . . . the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Analyze interconnections between superpower rivalries and the development of military, nuclear, and space technology.
  • Standard 2E: The student understands major worldwide scientific and technological trends of the second half of the 20th century Describe the worldwide implications of the revolution in nuclear, electronic, and computer technology.
  • Standard 3A: The student understands major global trends since World War II. Explain why the Cold War took place and ended and assess its significance as a 20th century event.
Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed
Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
Technology Required

Computer access to Gazetteer website, ability to blow up a map to large proportions.

Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?

This assignment would follow a discussion on public concern during the Cold War including the use of bomb shelters, public service commercials, and others to set the tone of fear that existed during the Cold War, particularly in the early years. 

TTW will tell the students that this assignment is to help them understand how real the perception of nuclear threat was on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Using the Document analysis worksheet with modifications (attached), TTW ask students to look at the first section of the document. After the teacher gives a short biography of Antontin Novotny, TSW work in pairs to analyze section 1, and determine what the Soviets thought of enemy strength and intentions.  The main task for students in the first section will be to determine whether or not the document was a defensive or offensive plan.

Using a class discussion, following the analysis, the class should determine that this document was indeed a defensive plan.   Now TTW divide the students into five or six groups and divide sections 2-12 among them.

TSW  take a blank map of Europe, use the online gazetteer, and place the cities mentioned in the war plan on the map. Using the map they have and an atlas, they will place the topographical features on the map.  One member of the group will also transfer the city locations and plans of attack   (planes, infantry, etc) on a combined map that will give the students the whole picture when completed. Each group will mount their completed map on a poster, with the details of their sections of the attack including troop strength, armament, etc.  TSW then work together to analyze their section of the map to determine why the Soviets considered certain cities vital to their war plans. They will also examine Hitler’s blitzkrieg through France and the Schlieffen plan, and their outcomes, and compare those to the Cold War plan, to assess the feasibility of the Soviet plan.

Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

 

 

 

 

Strong

Moderately

Strong

 

Average

Moderately Weak

 

Weak

 

Discusses the purpose of the war plan and the importance of the cities examined

 

 

 

5

4

3

2

1

Provides specific examples from the plan to support your discussions

 

5

4

3

2

1

Provides a clear comparison of the three different war plans and supports their opinion on the feasibility of the Cold War plan.

 

5

4

3

2

1

Conveys clear meaning by using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation

 

5

4

3

2

1

Follows instructions with regard to mechanics of writing the paper

5

4

3

2

1

 

 

Remember this is an ANALYSIS of the movie, not a movie review.  I do not care if you thought the movie was good or bad.  I want to know if you understand why the movie was shown in your class, and what you learned from watching it.

A 5 paper presents a well-developed critique of the discussion and demonstrates good control of the elements of effective writing.  A typical paper in this category

  • clearly identifies important features of the analysis and develops them in a generally thoughtful way.
  • develops ideas clearly, organizes them logically, and connects them with appropriate transitions
  • sensibly supports the main points of the analysis
  • demonstrates control of the language, demonstrating ability to use the conventions of standard written English but may have occasional flaws.

A 4 paper presents a competent analysis and demonstrates adequate control of the elements of writing. A typical paper in this category

  • identifies and analyzes important features of the analysis
  • develops and organizes ideas satisfactorily but may not connect them with transitions
  • supports the main points of the analysis
  • demonstrates sufficient control of language to convey ideas with reasonable clarity generally follows the conventions of standard written English but may have some flaws. 

A 3 paper demonstrates some competence in analytical writing skills and in its control of the elements of writing but is plainly flawed. A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not identify or analyze most if the important features of the discussion, although some analysis is present
  • devotes most of its time to analyzing irrelevant issues
  • is limited in the logical development and organization of ideas
  • offers support of little relevance and value for points of the analysis
  • does not convey meaning clearly, or contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

A 2 paper demonstrates serious weaknesses in analytical writing skills. A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not present a critique based on logical analysis, but may instead present the writer’s own views on the subject
  • does not develop ideas or is disorganized
  • provides little, if any, relevant or reasonable support
  • has serious and frequent problems in the use of language and in sentence structure, containing numerous errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that interfere with meaning.

A 1 paper demonstrates fundamental deficiencies in analytical writing skills. A typical paper in this category exhibits more than one of the following characteristics:

  • provides little evidence of the ability to understand and analyze
  • provides little evidence of the ability to develop an organized response
  • has severe and persistent errors in language and sentence structure, containing a pervasive pattern or errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that results in incoherence

0----Off-topic