Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 10th

Course: Advanced Placement United States History

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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The Cold War
  • Background to Share with Students
    • You will read primary sources to help gain understanding of the Cold War from 1945 to 1975. Major themes explored in the unit include political decisions and actions of the U.S. and foreign governments, military strategies, and reactions of American Society. You will use the knowledge of the time period and evidence from primary source documents to write a rough draft of an argumentation essay in response to the teaching task. You will complete the teaching task in preparation for a final classroom assessment task.

  • Task / Texts
    • Teaching Task

      How effective was the United States government in its attempt to halt the spread of communism in Europe and Asia between the years 1945 and1975? After reading primary source documents, write an essay that discusses the Cold War and evaluates U.S. strategies and its level of success in containing the Communist influence throughout the eastern hemisphere. Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts.

      Reading Texts

      Assigned primary texts (see materials list)

  • Content Standards
    • Standards Source: Number: Content Standards:

      Oregon Department of Education:


      Understand the division of Europe after WWII leading to the Cold War.


      Understand the impact of the Cold War on individuals, groups, and nations.


      Understand the causes and impact of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.


      Understand the changes in society and culture in the early 20th century.

  • Reading Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards "When Appropriate" Reading Standards (applicable in black)
      • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
      • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
      • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
      • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
      • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
      • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
      • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
      • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • Writing Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards "When Appropriate" Writing Standards (applicable in black)
      • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
      • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
      • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
      • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
      • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • Scoring Rubric for Argumentation Template Tasks
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