Interactive Cuban Missile Crisis website
How did people find out about cool teaching tools back before the Interwebs?
Seriously. We had word of mouth and the occasional catalog. That’s it. Now we’ve got PLNs and Twitter and Facebook and all sorts of cool connecting gadgets.
And I’m thinking
it is the 50th anniversary this year, right?
Sweet. A cool teaching tool that I haven’t heard of before.
The Cuban Missile Crisis Interactive puts your kids in the role of President Kennedy, having to decide among several options for responding to the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. They can click on the names of individual advisers and read the opinions of guys like Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and Kennedy’s brother Bobby. After studying the strengths and weaknesses of five different options, kids are asked to select the “best” option. The site then provides context based on their decision.
The site is set up to allow for a quick 30-40 minute activity. But I think, with additional time and resources, the Cuban Missile Crisis Interactive site could be part of a longer series of lessons. I’m not sure we should get all giddy about the 50th anniversary of an event that could easily have ended in Global Thermonuclear War but it is an important part of the Cold War story that our kids to need to hear.
So . . . some other handy sites that are out there:
- The Cuban Missile Crisis by the George Washington University’s National Security Archive group has a ton of primary sources. A ton.
- The 50th Anniversary Cuban Missile Crisis from the Harvard Kennedy Center has a ton of primary sources as well as another ton of lessons / educational resources.
- History and Politics Out Loud has a wide variety of actual speeches and audio clips from the period.
- The National Security Administration highlights some sweet de-classified documents that can provide great historical context.