Before students are introduced to the Cold War, it's important for them to have at least a basic understanding of what happened between the end of World War II and the initial hostilities between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Have students use a timeline to outline and define events immediately following the end World War II. Students will be able to explain and analyze what events led to the beginning of the Cold War, and how hostilities developed.
Teachers may pre-select events, conferences, or actions for students to use; recommended timeline ideas include:
This will allow students to see initial attempts at Soviet and American negotiations, as well as how the Cold War begins to heat up.
For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options!
Have students further analyze how both superpowers became even further alienated from each other by exploring who was involved in the alliance organizations: NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Students should identify how both groups geographically separate communist controlled satellite nations from democratically influenced nations of western Europe.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a timeline detailing important events leading up to the Cold War.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Events and Dates
The events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. The dates provided are correct.
Most of the events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. Most of the dates provided are correct.
Some of the events chosen for the timeline are significant. There may be missing events, or events that are irrelevant. Too many dates may be incorrect.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are accurate and provide insight into the significance of the events.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are mostly accurate and attempt to provide insight into the significance of the events.
There are several glaring inaccuracies in the explanations or descriptions of the events. There may be little or no insight int the significance of the events, or the information provided may be too limited or missing.
There are 0-2 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 3-4 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 5 or more mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.