Please fill in the following form to contact the author, Russel Tarr (@russeltarr)
ActiveHistory provides entertaining, educational award-winning interactive simulations, decision-making games, self-marking quizzes, high-quality worksheets and detailed lesson plans for teachers and students.
View the top 50 activities here.
You can also request a free trial.
Students are provided with a teacher-led lecture based around the following image and make notes in this worksheet.
The TV Debates:
In election year 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon took part in the first televised presidential debate, hosted by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. This was the beginning of modern media-driven politics: JFK came across as suave, confident and handsome in front of the camera, whereas Nixon came across as tired, awkward and dishevelled. Kennedy had rested before the debates, and taken care to wear a bold, dark suit. In contrast, Nixon was exhausted from a strenuous campaign which had taken him across all 50 states, refused to use make-up, and sweated profusely. Television audiences therefore felt that Kennedy won the debate, while radio audiences felt the reverse"
Read through the opening question from Walter Cronkite, then read Nixon's response. Your teacher will clarify any of the points made which require context.
Next, discuss what you think Kennedy's response to Nixon's reply should be.
Finally, watch a video clip of this opening exchange.
a. To what extent did you correctly anticipate Kennedy's response?
b. What policy objectives does Kennedy clearly have?
The Inaugural Address:
Kennedy secured a wafer-thin victory in the Presidential election of 1960: he received only 112,827 (0.17%) more votes than Nixon nationwide, and Nixon actually won the popular vote in more individual states (26 to 22). Frank Sinatra organised the inaugural ball.
Kennedy's inaugural address is widely regarded as one of the very best by any US President. It provides us with an excellent opportunity to analyse his stated objectives. After discussing what you anticipate the main themes of the speech will be, watch a video of it together as a class. Make notes on such things as his stated aims in domestic and foreign policies.
This worksheet and activity covers Kennedy's "Alliance for Progress", which was in essence a Marshall Plan for Latin America. As its name suggests, it proposed a partnership between the USA and Latin American countries keen to engage in political and socio-economic reforms. Signed in Uruguay's Punta Del Este at an inter-American conference, the United States pledged $20 billion in assistance and called upon the Latin American governments to match this with $80 billion of their own money. The two-way nature of the proposed solution was made clear when he stated "Let me be the first to admit that we North Americans have not always grasped the significance of this common mission" but that at the same time "many in your own countries have not fully understood the urgency of the need to lift people from poverty and ignorance and despair".
In this exercise students will take the role of an advisor to President Kennedy. By discussing different courses of action and then comparing them to what Kennedy did, they will form a balanced judgement on his handling of the Berlin Crisis of 1961. The class will be divided into five groups and given five different scenarios from different points during the crisis. Within each group, half the students will be required to construct a case in favour of the first course of action that is proposed, whilst the other half will construct a case in favour of the second. The teacher will then chair the debate before telling students what Kennedy did at each stage through a multimedia presentation.
One of the most dramatic moments of the 20th Century and a particularly exciting topic to teach and to study! This unit is based around extended roleplay activities firstly from the Soviet, then from the American, perspectives. Students gain a thorough understanding not just of the events but also about the role of particular individuals and develop an appreciation of how close the world came to nuclear holocaust in 1962 - and who (if anybody) deserves credit for their handling of this terrifying crisis.
In the first part of this unit, students consider the general and specific reasons for US involvement in Vietnam under President Kennedy . Over the course of three activities they develop an official speech from President Kennedy on the subject, compare this to what he really said, and then make final changes as appropriate.
Events (100 years ago today): 1917 - World War I: First Battle of Gaza - British troops are halted after 17,000 Turks block their advance.
Events (50 years ago today): 1967 - Ten thousand people gather for one of many Central Park be-ins in New York City.
Births (100 years ago today): 1917 - Rufus Thomas, American R&B singer-songwriter (d. 2001)
Deaths (500 years ago today): 1517 - Heinrich Isaac, Flemish composer (b. 1450)
Commemorations:Bangladesh National Day
RSS Feed | Full week | Get Widget
Rights and Protest Sourcework Sample: The Rivonia Trial
Model Essay: Analyse the successes and failures of Nixons domestic policies
Nixons Domestic Policy: Student research task
IB Sourcework: Rights and Protest sample source work papers and model answers
Model Essay: Assess the successes and failures of Nixons foreign policy
Nixons foreign policy: the second administration
Nixons foreign policy: The 1972 Presidential Election
Sourcework Exercise: To what extent was Martin Luther King responsible for the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott?
Nixons foreign policy: the first administration (1969-72)
Nixons Foreign Policy: New study unit
Was life good or bad in Victorian Britain? A study through paintings
Anarchism: Bakunins Catechism of a Revolutionary
Summary Sheet: Hegel, Marx and Lenin compared and contrasted
Factual Test on the issues covered so far (20 questions)
Teacher-led online lecture : A brief history of political ideology from the Enlightenment to the modern day!