Cold War Socratic Lesson Plan

Socratic Lesson Plan Assignment
Goal of Lesson: Introduction to Cold War Unit
Title of Lesson: Bert goes to War
Curriculum Expectations:
D2: Communities, Conflict and Cooperation
2.4: describe some key developments related to Canada’s participation in the international community
during this period, with a particular focus on the context of the Cold War (e.g., with reference to the
Korean War; the Gouzenko affair; the establishment of the North American Air Defense Command
[NORAD] or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]; the Suez Crisis; the Non-proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons Treaty; peacekeeping; membership in La Francophonie; the creation of the Canadian
International Development Agency [CIDA]; Canada’s response to famine in Biafra or the genocide in East
Timor), and assess whether these developments marked a change in Canada’s approach to, or role in,
international relations
D1: Social, Economic and Political Context
1.2: identify some major developments in science and technology during this period (e.g., developments
in aeronautics, including the Avro Arrow; automatic postal sorters; goalie masks; developments in
contraception, nuclear energy, plastics; medical developments such as thalidomide and pacemakers;
television; developments in space technology such as satellites and the Canadarm), and assess their
significance for different groups in Canada
Historical Thinking Concepts:
1. Continuity and Change
● Learning Goal: Students can identify key similarities and differences between
WW2 and the Cold War, including but not limited to: style of combat,
advancements in science and technology (nuclear weapons), political ideology
2. Historical Perspective
● Learning Goal: Students can identify the varying reasons for, and motives
behind, war between the USA and USSR - what was each countries
● Projector and links (listed below) for videos
● iPads / tablets/ computers for students to research on
● Blank paper and pencil crayons
● Illustrator software/ Powerpoint, on computers/ tablets
Lesson Outline:
● Includes teaching and learning strategies, tasks, accommodations and resources
Hook: (5 minutes)
At the very start of the lesson, students will be asked to brainstorm words that come to mind,
when they hear the term “Cold War”. This will serve as an assessment for learning, to gauge
what understanding students already have on the topic. It can also be referred back to
throughout the unit, to draw upon what understandings and misunderstandings commonly exist,
surrounding the unit.
Hook Part 2: (15 minutes)
Next, the videos seen below will be shown as a second hook to the lesson. One of the videos
was used in American schools to instruct students on what to do if a nuclear strike occurred,
and the other is a Russian propaganda video. These videos will be followed by socratic
questions. The first few questions will be quite basic (simply gauging student response to the
videos), but then they will become progressively more complex, targeting the higher levels of
thinking on Bloom’s Taxonomy (Apply & Evaluate).
Bert Video:
Socratic Questions following Bert video for students:
● As you are also students, how does this video make you feel? Safe? Scared?
Anxious? Why?
● What time period do you think this video is from? Why?
● How is this video different from the videos of WW2 combat you have seen? How
is it similar?
● Who is the supposed enemy in this video? Are they ever mentioned?
● How does the video portray Americans? Do you think this is accurate?
Russian Propaganda Video:
Socratic Questions following Russian propaganda video for students:
● What does the dog in this video symbolize?
● What do you think the moral of this story is?
● How do you think this video relates to the Cold War?
Activity #1: Research (35 mins)
A main takeaway from this activity, will be to have students understand that political ideologies
and technological developments drastically altered the appearance of “war” in the Cold War (as
compared to WW2). For this activity, students will be instructed to find a partner. They will work
together, each using a provided tech device, to define the words on the list of key terms
provided. They will be required to think about whether the event is social, political or economic
in nature, and place a (S), (P) or (E) next to it. After giving a definition for each term, students
will create a timeline and place the events in proper chronological order. Students will then be
prompted to compare this timeline to their previously completed World War Two timeline.
Questions they can try to answer include: What are the differences? What are the similarities?
Accommodations: Students who may need additional guidance, or who may struggle to get
work done as quickly as their peers, can be given terms and statements that are already sorted
with the terms (S), (P) and (E) next to their them. This will give them a clue as to what the term
is about before they conduct research.
Additionally, the use of tech devices will allow students to access adaptive technologies made
available to them, whether through their IEPs or not. For ELL students, they will be guided
towards the Google Chrome Extension “Read and Write.” This tool does a good job of breaking
down definitions and pairing them with illustrative prompts. ELL students can either work with
another ELL peer if they are most comfortable working at their own investigative pace, or they
may be paired with a peer that is patient and can help to guide them through parts of the terms
they do not understand (this would also help this learner, as it would force them to explain their
Key Terms: The Space Race, Suez Crisis, Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, NATO, McCarthyism, Communism, Cuban Missile Crisis, Berlin Wall, Summit Series,
Korean War, Capitalism
Activity #2: Evolving Propaganda (20 mins)
This portion of the lesson is a subset of the Socratic lesson, and will be used as an assessment
“as” learning technique. Students will be told to use their research and timeline to construct two
propaganda posters - one used in World War Two, and another, in the Cold War. Students will
be asked how these posters will be different before they begin, and how will they be the same.
They will be required to provide a brief description below their posters, outlining key features
they have drawn and explaining why they have drawn them that way. They will be told that
these posters need not be perfected, and that they are meant to be rough, quick sketches to get
them to try and consolidate what they have just learned.
Accommodations: Students will be permitted to complete this poster component either on
paper, or on the computer. Additionally, they will be told that features of the poster to focus on
are the visual balance and appearance of it- how well does it communicate the message? This
way, the importance of the poster is not the skill to which they can draw or use illustrative
software, but to which degree they understand the content, and how to communicate it to an
All students will also be able to refer directly to their work from the previous step, in an effort to
assist with spelling and word ordering.
Should students require headphones or personal music in order to help them focus, they will be
able to use these aids as well.
Conclusion: What does this show us? (10 mins)
This lesson will finish with a teacher-prompted discussion with the students. Students will be
asked to volunteer to show some of their posters, and the teacher can also circulate the room
while students are working to select features of each poster that they would want to direct the
class’s attention to, should students need more prompting assistance. Students will be able to
refer to their notes, as they are asked to highlight the differences they can already see between
previously studied wars, and the Cold War.
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