The Cold War Across Time (1945–1990): A Jigsaw with Expert Groups

by Wendy Thowdis

Objective

To discover the impact the Cold War had on multiple aspects of life, both in the United States and around the world, by exploring changes over time. 

Overview of Jigsaw Process

Expert Groups will create four timelines relating to key political and economic events and policies that occurred between 1945 and 1990 as a result of the Cold War. With timelines in hand, each member of the Expert Groups will create seven Home Groups and share their timeline information. These Home Groups will then create one Essential Question and five critical thinking questions that tie all four timelines together to analyze the impact the Cold War.

Procedure

Create four Expert Groups (7–8 in each group):        

  • Space Race
  • Arms Race
  • Vietnam War
  • Defense Spending (as a percent of the total US budget)

These groups are to research and decide on ten of the most events in time for their subject that reflect the impact of the Cold War. When the group has selected these ten points, they are to plot them on a timeline with a brief explanation of each event's importance and print a copy of this timeline for each group member.

A good document to begin with: 

Other helpful sources include:

For upper elementary students and students who have trouble reading longer documents, use the following reading excerpts from Gilder Lehrman:

Create seven Home Groups with one Expert from each of the above areas.

  • Each Expert will briefly discuss their timeline by explaining why its ten events were selected.
  • The Home Group will then create an Essential Question about the impact of the Cold War based on all four timelines.
  • The Home Group will next create five critical thinking questions (Bloom) for students to answer which will guide them in analyzing the events and policies of the Cold War.

Each group will share their work by reading their Essential Question and their five guiding questions out loud.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Already have an account?

Please click here to login and access this page.

How to subscribe

Click here to get a free subscription if you are a K-12 educator or student, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program, which provides even more benefits.

Otherwise, click here for information on a paid subscription for those who are not K-12 educators or students.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Become an Affiliate School to have free access to the Gilder Lehrman site and all its features.

Click here to start your Affiliate School application today! You will have free access while your application is being processed.

Individual K-12 educators and students can also get a free subscription to the site by making a site account with a school-affiliated email address. Click here to do so now!

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Why Gilder Lehrman?

Your subscription grants you access to archives of rare historical documents, lectures by top historians, and a wealth of original historical material, while also helping to support history education in schools nationwide. Click here to see the kinds of historical resources to which you'll have access and here to read more about the Institute's educational programs.

Individual subscription: $25

Click here to sign up for an individual subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Upgrade your Account

We're sorry, but it looks as though you do not have access to the full Gilder Lehrman site.

All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site, and our Affiliate School members gain even more benefits!

How to Subscribe

K-12 educator or student? Click here to edit your profile and indicate this, giving you free access, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program.

Not a educator or student? Click here for more information on purchasing a subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments