Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Cold War Visual Analysis and Presentation
John Denham
US History
Time Frame:
The instructor may allow the students a class period to use technology to find the image from recommended websites or sources. The assignment to find a visual representation can also be homework to be used in class by a certain date. A class period woul
Cold War

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

The student is to choose one of the five essential questions listed below and use a visual example from the Cold War to answer the chosen essential question. The image could be a painting, sculpture, political cartoon, graph, chart, or photograph and needs to relate to the Cold War era 1945-1991. The image could be researched or the teacher could chose a handful for the students to select from.

1.  Environment:  How does geography impact the development and growth of civilization?

2.  Government:  What is the role of government and how does it evolve in a dynamic civilization?

3.  Culture:  How does culture (art, literature, music, religion, etc.) reflect the values of a civilization?

4.  Human and Economic Interactions:  What are the effects of human interaction over time? (war, trade, cultural diffusion, economy)

5.  Social Justice/Human Rights:  How are human rights defined in civilization?




This assignment allows the students the opportunity to explore the vast amount of visual examples that address various aspects of the Cold War and offers new insight into the era.  

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

National Archives – www.archives.gov

Library of Congress – www.loc.gov



Albert & Victoria Museum - http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/c/cold-war/

Cold War Museum - http://www.coldwar.org/museum/photo_gallery.asp

Punch Magazine - http://punch.photoshelter.com/gallery/Cold-War-Cartoons/G0000FF70D40KNvU/




Full description of activity or assignment.

The student must cite the source by identifying where the image was found (it must be a credible source)

The student is strongly encouraged to use one 3 x 5 notecard during your presentation

If possible the student should share this image with the teacher using Google Drive to help with the presentation

The student will hand in a written response to the essential question at the time of the presentation

The student should include, but is not limited to, the following three details in their presentation:

Visual/Lyrical Analysis: What do you notice in your chosen visual piece?

Contextual Analysis: Place the image/song in its historical context (Political, social, economic)

Synthesis: State how the chosen image/song answers your chosen essential question.





Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide: