Presidential Decision Activity- Kennedy & the Cuban Missile Crisis
In this presidential decision making activity, students take on the role of President Kennedy and have to develop a solution to respond to the Cuban Missile Crisis!
SITUATION: U-2 spy planes have photographic evidence that the Soviets are constructing missile sites in Cuba that have the potential to strike dozens of US cities within minutes. It seems the Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev is testing your resolve and trying to gain an advantage with this clear threat to America's security. You need to handle this in a way that demonstrates strength, protects the American people, removes the missiles, and avoids nuclear war. Human civilization hangs in the balance, Mr. President. Good luck.
First, you review a timeline of important events that led to this crisis to help students understand factors leading to this issue. Then there is a quick 'context' overview slide that breaks down the crisis into a very understandable language.Then, students read the 1.5 page 'Presidential Briefing' and complete the 'Presidential Decisions' worksheet in this very engaging, student centered lesson.
The worksheet has students consider important questions a president must consider before coming to a decision- what do we know about this issue, what limitations do I have, what does the Constitution allow me to do, what do I wish the result to be, what could go wrong, how do the American people feel on this issue, and several more. Questions are scaffolded to support critical thinking and help students be successful.
This is such a powerful problem-solving activity for history class that develops critical thinking and active learning!
Then, students write a short speechannouncing their decision and this could be read to the class so students learn how each group approached the crisis. Lastly, you review what the president actually did to handle this situation- which is explained on the slideshow. There is a sheet for students to record what actually happen and reflect on how well they did in the activity. It ends with an optional little quiz to review the essential terms and concepts from the lesson.
This is such a powerful way to learn about the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War. Students will have an emotional attachment to the content and realize why its so important. Its a great way to make history interesting and exciting!
This has everything you need to complete the activity- no outside resources are needed! And there are links to the Google slides version so you can edit anything you want!
Fun US History activities ready to excite your students and great for your homeschool history curriculum as well!