Course Outline:

Credit: Cold War Flags from


Do good fences make good neighbors?

AOI: Community & Service

How do we live in relation to each other?

In October of 1962 the world's two superpowers came to the brink of war. How did these former World War II allies come so close to dragging the entire world into nuclear Armageddon? How did their opposing ideologies shape not only the geography and politics of postwar Europe, but the geography, politics and culture of the postwar world for the next 50 years?
In trying to answer these questions students will
  • demonstrate an awareness of chronology that links people, places and events through time
  • analyze and interpret information from a wide range of sources, both primary and secondary
  • identify the key questions, problems and issues of the Cold War, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the division of Germany and Berlin, the Iron Curtain, spheres of influence, the policy of containment, McCarthyism and the Red Scare, the arms race, the space race, the CIA, the KGB and the Great Game, detente, Glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR
  • compare and contrast events in postwar Europe, Communist China, Korea, Vietnam, Latin America and post-colonial Africa--all through the lens of containment

Throughout this unit, we will be working closely with Language Arts and Ms Craig's exploration of how historical events can lend themselves to dramatization and the artistic choices such dramatization demands.

Summative Assessment:

Formative Assessment 1: Kennan vs. Wallace

Formative Assessment 2: Propaganda Poster

Weeks 1-2: Why did wartime cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union collapse in 1945-46?Weeks 3-4: Korea and the Red ScareWeeks 5-6: The arms race and the Cuban Missile Crisis


Timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Mr. President, you've been briefed (Interactive exercise):

Avalon Project, Cuban Missile Crisis:

Reading list, video clips and Web sites related to the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Cold War interactive map of Europe:

North Korean propaganda posters (courtesy of

"Do not forget US imperialist wolves"

"The US is truly an axis of evil"

Samples of student achievement:

Ongoing Reflections:


The Tower of Babel, Bruegel (c. 1563)

We've been studying the world's various systems of government, how they're organized and how they either nurture or undermine social mechanisms like the distribution of resources, individual freedom and minority rights. The students are currently tasked with writing a persuasive essay about the advantages and disadvantages of democracy.

9-11.jpgThe Eight/Nines began their new unit on terrorism and conflict this week. By referencing international coverage of the same acts of violence, students will integrate their study of current events with their research into the origins and objectives of many of the world’s most widely-known terrorist groups and get a better understanding of the role perspective plays in defining exactly who and what terrorism is.

"Is This Terrorism?" handout:

"Definitions of Terrorism" handout: