Presidential Decisions Activity- Nixon & Opening China Lesson
In this presidential decision making activity, students take on the role of President Nixon and have to develop a solution to what to do with China (who we have not had any relations with for over twenty years) to calm Cold War tensions.
SITUATION: This is a critical moment in the Cold War that could bring greater global stability or it could increase tensions and the likelihood of more conflict. With tensions flaring between the major two communist powers; the Soviets and China, the US has an opportunity to gain an advantage in the Cold War if you play your cards right. How can you use this conflict between China and the Soviets to America's advantage?
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 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!