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Sample Resources

Below is an annotated list of Internet resources for this organizing topic. Copyright restrictions may exist for the material on some Web sites. Please note and abide by any such restrictions.

“The Cold War.” BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/coldwar/soviet_end_01.shtml. This site provides information about the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“The Cold War Museum.” Coldwar.org. http://www.coldwar.org/. This site has a number of online exhibits related to the Cold War.

The Cold War: Yahoo! Directory. http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/History/By_Time_Period/20th_Century/Cold_War/. This site contains links for resources on the Cold War.

Outline Maps: Education Place. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/. This site provides outline maps that may be printed and used in the classroom.

“Soviet Archives Exhibit.” The Library of Congress. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/entrance.html#tour. This site provides information on the Soviet Union and the Cold War.

Session 1: Beginnings of the Cold War, 1945–1948


  • Maps of the Cold War era

  • Internet access

  • Attachment A: Beginnings of the Cold War, 1945–1948

  • Article or story about shortages and long waiting lines to buy consumer goods in communist countries during the Cold War

  • Web site such as Outline Maps: Education Place at http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/

Instructional Activities

1. Direct students to create a list of ten things they know about the Cold War. Have them share their responses, and display their responses.

2. Display the notes for this session (Attachment A), and discuss them. Prompt discussion and understanding with questions such as the following:

  • What does the word ideology mean?

  • In what ways were the United States and the Soviet Union different in political and economic ideologies?

  • What was the Yalta Conference?

  • Why was the conference convened?

  • What were the immediate results of the decisions made at the conference?

  • What were the long-term results of the decisions made at the conference?

3. Have students read an article or story about shortages and long waiting lines during the Cold War. Discuss the reading as a class. Ask students how they feel when they must wait in line, especially when they must wait in line over and over again on a regular basis. Ask them how they think the East Germans and others living in communist countries felt as they were waiting in never-ending lines during the Cold War. Discuss the reasons such waiting lines were the normal state of affairs in these countries at the time.

Session 2: Early Events of the Cold War


  • Internet access

  • Resources on the Cold War

  • Attachment B: Early Events of the Cold War

  • Web site such as The Cold War: Yahoo! Directory. http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/History/By_Time_Period/20th_Century/Cold_War/
Instructional Activities

1. Distribute Attachment B. Divide the class into six groups, and assign each group one of the six topics on the handout to research using the Web site listed above. Students should

  • describe the event or document.

  • explain the reason(s) why the event occurred or the document was created.

  • describe the effect(s) of the event or document.

2. Allow students 10 to 15 minutes to find information and fill in the chart. Circulate among the groups to be sure they are recording the correct information.

3. Have each group explain their topic to the rest of class while the class takes individual notes to complete their charts.

Sessions 3–7: Later Events of the Cold War


  • Internet access

  • Library and other printed resources about the following six components or events of the Cold War:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) vs. Warsaw Pact

Korean War

Vietnam War

Berlin Wall

Cuban Missile Crisis

Communist buildup in China

  • Attachments C1–C6: Research Sheets

  • Glue sticks

  • Scissors

  • Construction paper in various colors

  • Yardsticks and rulers

  • Display boards

  • Computers
Instructional Activities

In these sessions, student will work in groups to analyze the six components or events of the Cold War listed above. They will create storyboards to display their findings, and they will take walking tours of the storyboards to learn about each topic. Then, they will conduct a review of their researched material and will assess their own performance.

1. Day 1: Divide the class into six groups, and assign each group one of the topics. Distribute copies of Attachments C1–C6 as appropriate, one handout to each student. Have groups begin their research, and monitor their work closely to ensure they are finding the information needed. Remind them to cite the sources they use.

2. Day 2: Give each group a three-panel display board. Help students create maps, graphs, and charts. By the end of the second day, students should be well along in creating items to place on their storyboard and should be assembling the board. Have each group also begin preparing a presentation script for presenting the information, and have them begin writing their five review questions. Explain that stories that are going to be told during the presentation may be written down, but students should be familiar enough with the stories so that they do not have to be read verbatim

3. Day 3: Instruct each group to complete their storyboard, five review questions, and presentation script. Collect the questions from each group, and make copies to distribute to the rest of the class.

4. Day 4: Have each group make their walking-tour presentation to the rest of the class, using their presentation script. You might divide the rest of the class into smaller tour groups so students can see the storyboards up close. If you do this, each presenting group will present their storyboard several times—once to each tour group.

5. Day 5: Distribute the student-created review questions, and have students answer them. You may wish to allow students to revisit the storyboards, if they wish. After all students are finished, display the questions, and go over them with the class.

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