president truman lesson plan
fun cold war activity
berlin airlift activity
berlin airlift lesson plan
fun us history lesson plans
fun us history activities


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In this presidential decision making activity, students take on the role of President Truman and have to develop a solution to solve the Berlin blockade crisis. 

SITUATION: Its the early years of the Cold War and tensions have been rising. The first showdown looks like it will take place in Berlin, where the Soviets have blockaded West Berlin in an effort to try to drive out the US and its allies from the city. If nothing is done, the Soviets will likely get more aggressive elsewhere, if you respond incorrectly, it could lead to World War III. How do you save the city?

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 'context' overview slide that breaks down the crisis into a very understandable language. Then, students read the two 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 speech announcing 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 Berlin Airlift! 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! 

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