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.
Teacher Lecture - Interactive Multimedia Presentation | Student activity sheet to accompany the presentation
Complete with video clips, the comprehensive presentation guides through the origins and development of the Cold War. This presentation is broken up with short video clips and 6 key decision points in the student worksheet which the class has to discuss and reach judgements on (e.g. "Discussion Point [4/6] The Iron Curtain Speech / Stalin's Salami Tactics: Which of the following two statements do you agree with? A. "Churchill's Iron Curtain speech accelerated the Cold War. The wartime alliance was clearly breaking down, but this speech finished it off" or B. "Churchill's Iron Curtain speech merely acknowledged that the Cold War had already begun; its only significance is that it was the first public declaration that this was the case").
Background to the Crisis: The Cuban Revolution, the Bay of Pigs and the Berlin Wall
This worksheet, which is accompanied with a range of video clips, explains the growing tensions between the USA and the USSR in the period leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Students Worksheet | Roleplay Cards
This two-part Soviet roleplay involves thinking through the arguments for and against placing missiles in Cuba from the Soviet perspective in a general sense based on essential historical context. Then, each member of the class takes on the role of a named Soviet advisor with a clear agenda. After they have formed their proposal, the teacher takes on the role of Khrushchev to talk through the arguments. The final outcome is a detailed set of notes outlining the position of various Politburo members which will be invaluable for the essay writing / sourcework analysis examination.
US Roleplay Part 1 (one hour): The Initial Response
Student Worksheet | Roleplay Cards | Concluding Write-Up
In this roleplay, attention shifts back to the USA. Each student takes the role of a member of EX-COMM, and prepares a statement arguing for a course of action in response to Khrushchev's policy regarding Cuba. The teacher notes outline how the debate should be managed by the teacher (in role as Kennedy). The rolecards have been carefully written so that the students do not simply learn about the policy of each key character (invaluable for a source-based examination), but also learn about the relationship between the individuals concerned. After watching two short video clips about Kennedy's final decision (links provided within the worksheets), students produce a concluding write-up reflecting on how effectively he dealt with the initial stage of the crisis.
Slideshow of ExComm
This slideshow rotates a gallery of images of the key characters involved in EX-COMM (with names) and can be left running on the whiteboard during the reflection/roleplay phase of the activity.
US Roleplay Part 2 (one hour): The Crisis Escalates
Student Worksheet | Teacher-led Multimedia Presentation
In this second roleplay, designed to last about an hour, students witness the crisis unfold step-by-step. At each stage, they have to discuss what they think Kennedy should do, then make comments about his actions after being told what he actually decided. The Teacher-led Multimedia Presentation provides all the materials a teacher needs to help students complete the Student Worksheet.
Consequences of the Cuban Missile CrisisStudent WorksheetThis activity allows students to comment on the impact of the crisis on different key individuals and countries. There are links to relevant video clips as extension material (complete with suggested questions / discussion points).
Revision Quiz: The Cuban Missile Crisis
A Fling the Teacher Quiz containing 45 possible questions.
Births (100 years ago today): 1918 - Leonore Annenberg, American businesswoman and diplomat (d. 2009)
Deaths (400 years ago today): 1618 - Philip William, Prince of Orange (b. 1554)
Deaths (50 years ago today): 1968 - Anthony Asquith, English director and screenwriter (b. 1902)
Commemorations:World Day of Social Justice
RSS Feed | Full week | Get Widget
Backward Essay Planning the Rule of Pinochet
How important was the role of women in the anti-Apartheid movement?
The Sophiatown Removals: Sample Sourcework Paper / Model Answers
New Interactive Timeline Generator!
Escape the Room: Mission Rivonia!
Summary revision: Cold War Crises Compared
Model Essay: Evaluate the political and economic impact of military rule in Chile between 1973 and 1989
Historiography: Causes for the Rise of Dictators / Outbreak of Civil Wars / Revolutions
Model Essay: With reference to two examples from two different regions, assess (a) the reasons for the use of guerrilla warfare, and (b) its effectiveness. (compares Cuba and Vietnam).
The Victorians through Paintings: Video Clips List
The February Revolution of 1917
From Yalta to Potsdam the wartime alliance starts breaking down
Introduction to Racism: An introduction to Rights and Protest
Video worksheet: Brunel by Jeremy Clarkson|Factual Test
Escape the Room Mission: Rome!