Ever heard of the March Madness college basketball tournament?! It's become a cultural phenomenon to pick your team and cheer it on as the tournament progresses. Well, this project combines the exciting, competitive nature of this tournament with helping students better understand the Cold War while practicing Common Core skills.
This project will engage your students as they further explore the main events, policies, and "showdowns" of the Cold War Era. Each day, students will explore the 4 major categories of the Cold War: Cold War Treaties & Policies, Arms Race & Competition, Cold War in Asia, and the Cold War around the World! Within these categories there are 32 starting events. Each day, students narrow down the pool of events until the final championship when they pick the most important event in the Cold War.
Each day students practice the following skills:
-Writing short summaries
-Discerning Historical Significance
-Academic Conversations with Their Team (and a mini debate in the final round!)
-Creativity (including daily activities inspired by Instagram, Twitter, songs, movie posters, Canva, etc.)
The entire project lasts a minimum of 3 weeks but does a thorough job of teaching the Cold War. You will need to supplement this project with a brief overview of the Cold War period and major characteristics before students begin.
-Student Packet with Detailed Instructions, Worksheets, Activities
-Student Copy of the Cold War Brackets
-Teacher Key of the Cold War Brackets
-Detailed Advice, Lesson Plans, Project Timeline for Teacher Use
-All included worksheets
-Computers for research and the activity for Round Four
This project is best used as the culminating assessment for the unit or even as a primary method for teaching the major topics in a project-based classroom. I personally use this project in my 10th grade World History course to teach the major topics of the Cold War. It's my favorite project of the year because student engagement is high! Who doesn't love a little friendly competition?