This lesson plan deals with the continued strained relationship between NATO and Russia. It uses the Origins article “The collapse of communist governments in Eastern Europe and the USSR brought an end to the Cold War,” which directly challenges the Ohio American History standard, “The collapse of communist governments in Eastern Europe and the USSR brought an end to the Cold War”. The article asserts that the Cold War never really ended and is in fact becoming more heated.
This lesson is designed for a classroom with technology, but modifications are included for classrooms with limited or no technology.
The lesson begins by first contrasting the Cold War and actual combat by likening these two concepts to terms more familiar to students such as a fist fight and twitter war. Students will be grouped as Russians, NATO, and judges. In each group there will be an author, a least two researchers, and someone to search for visual representations. The students can talk within their groups but can only communicate silently via twitter to the other groups. The groups representing Russia and NATO will make creative twitter handles that reflect themselves. The judges will decide who has the best handle and that team will be awarded bonus points.
The Russian and NATO groups will be debating via a “Twitter War” over a controversial statement that the instructor will give them. Students responses must be 160 characters or less and they can use hashtags and pictures. The judges will evaluate the debate based on the use of evidence and the strength of each argument. Within the first ten minutes of the “twitter war”, the judges will post one question each within the first ten minutes. Each group will have to immediately respond. To conclude the lesson, the instructor will post the EQ in which the Russians, NATO, and the judges will all have to answer. Once all responses are posted, the class will close class by discussing the EQ.