Joseph McCarthy Teacher Resources

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High schoolers analyze documents, cartoons, speeches and articles about Joseph McCarthy and his crusade against "Un-American" activities. They guide their research with a worksheet and participate in class discussions about their findings.
"I have here in my hand . . ." The war against Communism and Joseph McCarthy’s place in it are the focus of a series of lessons examining postwar America from 1945-1954. Joseph McCarthy takes center stage in this, the final lesson of the series, and examines the senator's activities from 1950 through 1954. Groups read several primary source documents and guided by the included questions, consider how McCarthy's actions lead to his downfall.  
The war against Communism and Joseph McCarthy’s place in it are the focus of a series of three lessons examining postwar America from 1945-1950. This first lesson plan asks groups to read an introduction that describes the Verona Project and to examine excerpts from FBI memos on the project. Each group then researches an assigned suspect and shares their findings with the class. The lesson plan ends with a reenactment of the Rosenberg trial and a vote on their innocence or guilt.
“I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party. . .” Senator Joseph McCarthy certainly stirred the pot with his claims. The result was a series of legislative actions that put McCarthy in the spotlight and First Amendment rights in jeopardy.  Was Congress’s violation of the First Amendment during the McCarthy Era justified? To prepare to respond to this guiding question, class members examine a series of primary source documents including the First Amendment, the Smith Act, and Joseph McCarthy’s speech delivered February, 1950, in Wheeling, West Virginia. After group and full-class discussions, individuals craft an essay using evidence drawn from the documents to support their argument.
Students examine the McCarthy era by reading documents written from the time. They are exposed to both sides of the argument, then do a writing assignment stating their own views.
Learners read a flowchart and look at corresponding photos to explore the anti-communist fears in the mid-twentieth century and the impact Senator Joseph McCarthy had on those fears.
Eleventh graders explore and analyze the impact of the Cold War at home and how the fear of communism and nuclear war affected American life throughout the Cold War. They study what role Senator Joseph McCarthy played on American fears of communism through political cartoons.
Students investigate what constitutes an "un-American" activity and why Soviet espionage was such an important issue in the 1940's and 1950's. Joseph McCarthy's impact on American anticommunism is examined in this lesson plan. There are three lessons in this
Students identify the primary subjects of FBI investigation on espionage charges and in particular, the Venona project, noting how it worked and the purpose it served.
For this online interactive history quiz worksheet, learners respond to 46 multiple choice questions about the Cold War. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
Learners examine McCarthyism. In this Cold War instructional activity, students analyze 6 political cartoons by Herb Block that capture the essence of the Red Scare. Learners discuss the cartoons and the fear of communism that permeated America. 
Students research and examine the unsavory history of the hunt for communists in the United States during the 1950s. They divide up into groups to review the Red Scare of the 1920s as a backdrop to the McCarthy era and write a short essay on the topics researched.
Students research the McCarthy hearings to determine the following: time frame of hearings, how they were broadcast, how the press reacted, and how the American people reacted in light of the Korean Conflict and the Cold War.
"It just takes a spark." The sparks that gave rise to Fahrenheit 451 are detailed in an audio biography of Ray Bradbury. After listening to Part I of the engaging narration, class groups read background essays and prepare presentations of what they have learned in the essays. 

New Review The Cold War

Take your instruction on the Cold War to the next level by having learners participate in a group role-playing exercise, working to convey pertinent information and illustrate the intense anxiety related to this time period in the United States.
Was the House Un-American Activities Committee justified in investigating subversive influences in the entertainment industry? Part two of the three-part series of lessons that examine the anti-communism movement after World War II, focuses on the HUAC investigation of the entertainment industry and the Hiss-Chambers Hearings.
Is the death penalty constitutional? To prepare for a Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) activity on this topic, partners brainstorm questions and read primary source documents to find answers to their questions. Groups are then assigned a position and argue for or against the legality of the death penalty. At the conclusion of the SAC, individuals craft their own position statement, supporting their argument with evidence drawn from the discussion and the source materials
Using the Internet, as well as textbooks, high school scholars research how Congress has evolved over the years. They examine legislative leaders and their accomplishments, compare and contrast legislative procedures in various eras, and investigate Congress's ability to change public opinion. The richly detailed packet includes a wealth of materials and resource links.
Provide learners with an excellent resource intended on imparting knowledge on the Cold War Era. Starting in 1945 and going all the way to 1991, the Cold War Era included major historical events, such as the Berlin Wall, Warsaw Pact, the Korean War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lucky for you, this presentation covers all of it in an interesting and informative way.
Students explore communism from historical and theoretical perspectives to present to fellow classmates at a teach-in. Each team of students be responsible for researching and presenting on one of the suggested topics in the lesson.

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Joseph McCarthy