Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fun Resources for Teaching about the Cold War

By Nina Kendall

Are you looking for new resources to teaching about the Cold War? Are you excited about the chance to delve into the rich foreign policy of the 20th century? Here are a few fun resources you can use to teach about the Cold War.

The Atomic Bulletin was first published in 1945 after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaski. It was founded by a group of former Manhattan Project physicists. The Doomsday Clock is the symbolic clock whose time reflect how close humans are to final destruction. This group maintains and updates the Doomsday Clock. This website has a great timeline that correlates the changes in the Doomsday Clock to historic events.

Historic Film Clips
On School TV, Historian Ben Walsh uses archival footage to explore the hysteria of McCarthyism and the challenges of the Cuban Missile Crisis. From the testimony of the accused to interviews with Senator McCarthy,  this footage supports the exploration of this hysteria.
Songs for the Classroom
Songs from the Atomic Platter are also great  for exploring the social side of the Cold War. In Agnes the Teenage Russian Spy, the challenge of Cold War  relations is shared in terms any student can relate to when the teen experiences betrayal by a spy.  In Advice to Joe, Roy Acuff captures the national debate with pithy words. Mr. Betts produces songs to use with students in the classroom. His video America's Foreign Policy Review is a great review that students will enjoy. The History Tunes song The Cold War has a succinct set of lyrics you can use in a variety of ways.

Great Cartoons
The Opper Project is a great source for 20th Century cartoons. There collections of cartoons are useful both online and offline.  This collection is really well suited for online activities as many of the cartoons are displayed with zoom options making online viewing easier.

Fun Activities
The Dot Game is a fun way to engage students in conversations about the hysteria of McCarthyism. Check out this blog for more about the Dot Game.