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Khrushchev vs. Eisenhower - Emerging Superpower Leaders in the Cold War



Activity Overview


Using a T-Chart, have students compare and contrast the backgrounds, policies, relationship, and actions of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev, the elected leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. By comparing and contrasting the two world leaders, students will be able to connect continuous Cold War policies of both nations, as well as how both nations operated under new leadership. Exiting Truman’s presidency and Stalin’s strict control, tensions deepened between the two countries. Students will be able to explain and analyze how both leaders aimed to gain control in the evolving world.


Students should analyze the following:

  • Background
  • Foreign Policy
  • Domestic Policy
  • Actions During the Cold War

Extended Activity

Have students research ahead and compare another American president and Soviet leader, highlighting their policies, backgrounds, and how they functioned as leaders during the Cold War. Remind students that the Cold War stretches from after World War II until the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991, so there are several choices for comparison.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a T Chart comparing and contrasting Eisenhower and Khrushchev during the Cold War.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Label the titles for each cell with "Background", "Foreign Policy", "Domestic Policy", and "Actions in Cold War".
  3. In one column, describe how each of these pertains to Khrushchev.
  4. In the other column, do the same for Eisenhower.
  5. Create an image for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.


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