Produced by Michael Blurton, Portola Magnet School, 1996
Background to the Cuban Missile Crisis will focus on the transition from Stalin to Khrushchev through lecture and video excerpts to help students gain a fuller understanding of the crisis in a broader, Russian perspective. Excerpts from Professor Andrzej Korbonski's lecture will be used to help with this historical background and excepts from Professor Stephen Frank's lecture will be used for the history of reform in Russia. Students will also be reading primary sources on the crisis as well as viewing documentary footage of the crisis. Additionally, students will be asked to interview people who lived during this time period.
Core content will be greatly enhanced given the brief treatment of this event in the student textbook. By giving students multiple sources of information on the topic, critical thinking skills will be enhanced as they must evaluate the options for the various actors during this crisis. It also continues the theme of last year's institute on "intersections." In this case, foreign relations and U.S. diplomacy. It also incorporates use of an autobiography and other primary documents.
Unlike the crisis itself, this will not last thirteen days.
Day 1: Lecture on the history of transition of power from Stalin to Khrushchev up to 1961.
Issue Handouts Terms and Concepts and Major Participants
Begin video Crisis: Missiles in Cuba (only the first segment; this takes the crisis through the first two days)
Divide class into groups; each chooses a spokesperson; each group must reach a consensus decision on which response the U.S. should take (10 minutes):
Reconvene the class and ask the spokespersons for a show of hands on the various options. If there is no consensus, class discussion to see if a consensus can be reached (this step may flow into the next class meeting).
Have students discuss obstacles encountered and efforts made to reach a consensus:
View part two of Crisis: Missiles in Cuba (this segment presents the options to the U.S. and Soviet)
Students debate the pros and cons of the following scenarios:
Homework: read pp. 732-736 in Davidson/Lytle (text)
Review homework (can be in usual form of a "pop Quiz")
Read excerpt form Khrushchev ber and McNamara's Blundering intoDisaster
Discuss similarities and differences in the accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Homework: Study for test
Review discussion questions
Day 5: Test
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2005
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