The Impact of the Cold War upon the DDR
The impact of the Cold War upon one state, and a comparison and contrast of the impact of the Cold War upon two states from different regions, is a possible focus of exam questions.
The following unit was designed to provide an academically rigorous follow-up task to the materials we completed on our Residential Study Trip to Berlin.
1. Impact upon one state - the DDR
In this first part of the unit, students work collaboratively to determine the impact of the Cold War upon the DDR.
Analyse the impact of the Cold War upon the DDR
Students are given 20 key terms, events, individuals and themes relating to the DDR. These are divided between the members of the class to research individually prior to a feedback session. Students then write their answers to the key question, based on their areas of study, on individual revision cards.When all 20 cards are completed, the class should work together to organise these into between three and five meaningful categories. Stick them down on a large piece of card, and link them together using arrows and topic sentences. A photograph of the completed essay framework should then be shared with all members of the class so they can effectively write an answer to the key question "What was the impact of the Cold War upon one state that you have studied?"
Video viewing notes: "The DDR: Lost World of Communism"
Minute-by-minute viewing notes for this excellent BBC documentary for students to use as a way of deepening their understanding.
2. Comparing / contrasting the impact on two states: the USA / the DDR
In the earlier exercise students worked collaboratively to determine the impact of the Cold War upon the DDR. As a revision exercise, they will now compare and contrast this experience with that of the United States by reviewing their work on the McCarthyite Red Scare.
Complete scheme of work: The Second Red Scare in the United States
The complete unit of study on a dedicated page of ActiveHistory.
"Using the topic sentences in the first row to help you, produce your own topic sentences for the remaining orange rows of the table. Use your existing knowledge from your studies of the DDR / the USA to add 'additional notes' in the other remaining cells. TIP: your teacher may wish to divide these between members of the class to research separately, and then feed back with their findings. Use your completed notes to produce an essay on the title "Compare and Contrast the impact of the Cold War upon two state that you have studied, each chosen from a different region".