Lesson Plan

The Cuban Missile Crisis: How to Respond?

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For 13 days, the United States stood on the edge of nuclear War. The Soviet Arms buildup in Cuba is the focus of an activity that asks groups to analyze how the governmental role each of John F. Kennedy's advisors played went on to influence the suggestions each man offered for how to deal with the crisis.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Prior to the lesson, have groups research the advisors and the interest each represented
Classroom Considerations
  • The activity assumes class members are familiar with the process for analyzing primary source materials
  • The resource includes links to all required materials including the recently declassified secret recording of the ExComm meetings, an assessment suggestions
  • While the concept of the lesson is sound, it provides little in the way of specific directions for how to analyze the materials and how to connect the position statements of the various advisors to the interest these advisors represented
Common Core