The Berlin Crisis of 1948

President Harry Truman faced limited options when Joseph Stalin implemented the Berlin Blockade in 1948. American forces could either evacuate from West Berlin, negotiate with the USSR with UN support, airlift vital supplied into the restricted area, or do nothing. High schoolers work together to weigh these options from President Truman's perspective with a social studies activity that combines research, writing, role play, teamwork, and persuasive speaking.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Project the chart into the board and have class members fill in their responses in a collaborative discussion
  • Use the extension activities as choices for a final assignment for the unit 
Classroom Considerations
  • The project is most effective if learners have prior knowledge of the relationship between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world after World War II; otherwise, the included essay is a helpful way to create the necessary prior knowledge
  • The graphic organizer is embedded in the resource and will need to be blown up to a full page
  • Provides an online tool link for class discussion that is not necessary if your school does not use that service
  • Includes all necessary reading materials, as well as a rubric for the writing part of the project
  • Encourages learners to look at historical events with a critical and evaluative eye
  • None