McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare

IB History: ActiveHistory

An ActiveHistory subscription provides everything you need to construct and deliver a two-year IBDP History course from start to finish using the ActiveHistory IB History Hub.

These consist not just of lesson plans, worksheets and teacher notes, but also multimedia lectures and interactive games and historical simulations ideal for remote learning and self-study.

Use the ActiveHistory curriculum maps and the ActiveHistory syllabus topics to design your own course effectively.

We also have you covered for the Internal Assessment, Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge in History, not to mention Essay and Sourcework Skills, IBDP History Model Essays and IBDP History Sample Sourcework Exercises / Model answers!





Pre-class preparation: Video Documentary and Worksheet

Prior to the first lesson on this topic, students should complete this worksheet which provides them with a thorough overview of the main events, themes and personalities.

The Red Scare: Classroom simulation!

In this educational simulation, students each research a different character secretly. One of them was a genuine communist, the rest were innocent of the charges. Then, after each one is interrogated (HUAC style!) by the teacher, students have to organise themselves over several rounds into different groups in an attempt to identify the communist within the group. A great one-hour activity! There is also a PowerPoint presentation about some of the key characters outlined in it to share with students afterwards.

Teacher-Led Online Presentation

A 12-slide presentation providing an essential overview and images to analyse and discuss.

Individual Research Phase | Factual Test

This pack provides detailed information and suggested areas for research. Students choose a range of themes from those suggested and conduct their own research to help them prepare their essays. There is also a factual test for students to test their knowledge of this material.

Design a school exhibition!

The Impact of McCarthyism in the USA in the 1950s is such a rich topic of study that it is difficult to know what to focus on, so I let each student choose their own area of interest (music, film, politics, science....) and then gave them their own exhibition space to produce something in the school corridor. Rather than it being a 'display' they have to include questions / tasks (what they called 'clickbait'!) to get other students interested. They came up with some great ideas ('Which one of these posters is NOT really from the period?', 'Match this character card to the one on display which tells you what happened to them in the Red Scare', 'Find the 'reds under the beds' badges hidden around school and trade each one in for a sweet!'' and so on...

Keyword Checker - How did the early years of the Cold War (1946 to 1956) affect the political and social life of the United States?
When students have completed their essays on this question, they should put them into this key word checker to determine how many key terms they have successfully incorporated.

Model Essay: How did the early years of the Cold War (1946 to 1956) affect the political and social life of the United States? [teacher password required]
Here's a model essay I wrote on the key question in timed conditions, and which students could be given after completing their own.


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