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Activity 3

Essential Question

What problems result from the tension between world powers and how do they attempt to resolve these problems?


With dramatic events, such as students tearing down the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union collapsing as a country, the Cold War came to an end in 1991. Much of the world celebrated. Perhaps the world had moved into a time when at last there would be peace, but we know from history that the end of conflict rarely leads to smooth results.

The Berlin Wall

The U.S. Civil War was followed by Reconstruction, which was violent, and World War I did not make the world fully "safe for democracy," as Wilson had hoped. This essential question looks at how and why the Cold War ended and yet left a legacy that confronts us very much today.

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

Computer Lab Research

Have students visit the following websites. Talk about how websites differ and how some sites are easier to use then others. Talk about the reliability of websites and the criteria for determining if a site is reliable.

You may want to review the criteria for evaluating websites. The following website is an excellent source for initiating this discussion:

Have students review the list of topics below and select one that they would like to research using the identified websites.


Strategy 2

KWLH Strategy

Discuss with the class the idea of doing "active thinking" while doing research. Tell them that it is important to focus on what they already know about a topic and to connect that information to what they are researching. Tell the class that the KWLH teaching technique is a good method to help them activate prior knowledge.

Review the steps of the KWLH technique for active thinking with the class.

Have them use the KWLH Chart while doing their research.

Printable Student View

Cold War Events (KWLH Chart)

What We Know What We Want to Find Out What We Learned How Can We Learn More

Check for Understanding

Review a magazine article on your researched topic. Decide if the article is:

  • Factual
  • Concise and To the Point
  • High Interest

Strategy 3

Reading for Information

Remind students that they will be reading for information. When we read for information we read for:

Model these strategies for the students prior to having them do the research.

Check for Understanding

  • Use stance questions to check for understanding. Stance questions are those directly related to each of the purposes for reading.