“Duck and Cover” (Civil Defense)

This “Duck and Cover” (Civil Defense) lesson plan also includes:

Bert the Turtle models for viewers the 1950s Civil Defense Duck and Cover strategy that was supposed to protect citizens from a nuclear blast. After viewing the video, watchers are asked to consider the motivations of the producers of the propaganda video.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members view the Duck and Cover video at home and talk with their family members about what they remember about the preparations for a nuclear attack
  • Have groups research related topics like the Domesday Clock, the Civil Defense Association, early warning systems, and nuclear non-proliferation treaties
Classroom Considerations
  • Preview the video and be prepared to discuss viewers' responses to the images of 1950s classrooms as well as the antiquated science
  • The four-page resource includes a brief plan, links to the video, and discussion questions
  • No attempt is made to link the video to current events or science
Common Core