Activity Overview

The formation of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in 1949 was in direct response to the events of World War 2. Understanding why it was formed and what the United States' role in the organization will provide students with a deeper understanding of how global alliances are formed. Students will use a spider map to answer the 5 Ws in response to the formation of NATO. They should also examine how the alliance played a pivotal role in the U.S.'s attempt to contain the ideas and influence of communism.

Students should answer the following questions:

  • WHO Joined NATO?
  • WHAT is NATO?
  • WHEN did the United States Join NATO?
  • WHERE is NATO?
  • WHY did the United States Join NATO?

Extended Activity

Have students research and explain other world organizations that the U.S. is a part of, including NATO today, or another global organization such as the United Nations (also a product of post WWII global initiatives). This will help serve as a thematic connection to global organizations, American foreign policy, as well as how these organizations have helped serve as foundations to other American presidents foreign policy.

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 5W analysis of the formation of NATO: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title box for each cell, type Who, What, When, Where and Why.
  3. In the descriptions, answer the question.
  4. Create an image for each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: 5 Ws of Social Studies and History

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