Enhancing Students’ Understanding of Bi-Polarity in the History Classroom , pp. 10 of 13

Instructions for classroom activity:

  1. (similar to the earlier activity) The teacher will draw one horizontal line on a butcher paper.
  2. The teacher will then make a mark at the start of the line with the year ‘1950’ and another one at the end of the line with the year ‘1979’.
  3. The teacher will divide students into groups of 4s or 5s.
  4. The teacher will then get students to arrange the Cold War developments in chronological order along the timeline.
  5. After which, the teacher could ask students the following guiding questions:
  1. What changed in terms of Sino-Soviet relations over the years?
  2. What changed in terms of Cold War dynamics over the years?
  3. What changed in terms of American-Soviet relations over the years?
  4. What persisted in terms of the Cold War over the years?

Scaffolding and brief background information can and should be provided to students, based on their readiness levels and aptitude. To further guide students, the teacher could ask students to examine the following:

  1. Changes/continuities in the way the United States perceived the USSR and vice versa;
  2. Changes/continuities in the way China perceived the USSR and vice versa;
  3. Changes/continuities in the nature of the Cold War conflict as an ideological conflict over the years;
  4. Changes/continuities in the dynamics of the international system over the years (Hint strongly at the Bandung Conference, a development especially useful for students studying Book 4 as well).

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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