In this Cuban Missile Crisis lesson plan and video, students learn the story behind the Cuban Missile Crisis and the actions of President Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and Nikita Khrushchev that brought the world within inches of nuclear war! This story-lecture puts this crisis into the context of the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union and why Cuba became a near battleground for the launching of warheads. Covering the failed Bay of Pigs, the building of the Berlin Wall, and the discovery of the missile launch sites in Cuba that led to a nuclear showdown.
In groups or individually, students take on roles of EXCOMM to “solve the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Students evaluate and debate the different options, consider Soviet responses, and write a speech from President Kennedy for their final decision in this engaging Cuban Missile Crisis simulation lesson plan.
Skill Development: Problem-solving, evaluating national security decisions, predicting effects, collaboration, and persuasive writing.