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Supplemental Materials

Supplemental Materials includes online resources to accompany the printed unit, lesson plans developed by teachers participating in a Teaching American History grant run by Choices, links to additional online resources from the Choices Program, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.

Additional activities are also available in The Fog of War Teacher's Guide and online resources developed by the Choices Program and the Critical Oral History Project.


Choices produces videos featuring top experts—professors, policymakers, journalists, activists, and artists—answering questions that complement the readings and lessons.

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering its Place in Cold War History

Fourth edition. August 2008.


The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering its Place in Cold War History offers students a broad understanding of the consequences and dynamics of the Cold War. The materials prepare students to role-play a simulation of the discussion between President Kennedy and his advisors about how to respond.


The unit analyzes the Cold War dynamics that led to the Cuban missile crisis and examines the decision-making process within the Kennedy administration at the height of the confrontation with the Soviet Union. The background reading surveys the evolution of U.S. involvement in the Caribbean and Central America from the early 19th century to the present and prepares students to consider thoughtfully the causes and ramifications of the Cuban missile crisis. A final reading examines what we have learned in recent years.

The Choices Role Play

In this unit, students are placed in the role of President Kennedy's ExCom. Knowing only what members of ExCom knew at the time, students wrestle with the options considered at the time.


U.S. Influence in the Caribbean and Central America
After delivering short presentations on topics relating to U.S. influence in the region, students draw connections among the various topics and identify major issues in U.S.-Caribbean relations.

Retracing the Path to October 1962
Through role-play, students recognize and articulate the differing positions of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba on the eve of the Cuban missile crisis.

Role-Playing the Three Options
Working cooperatively to advocate for one of the three options facing President Kennedy in October 1962, students use primary sources to recreate this critical moment in history. A fourth group plays President Kennedy as he questions the groups and evaluates the options presented.

Examining the Documents of the Missile Crisis
Students analyze and interpret the most important documents of the missile crisis: letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev.

The Cuban Point of View
In this lesson students write a letter that was never written: one from Castro to Kennedy. Students consider the impact this letter might have had if it had been written (and read) at the time.

Tracing Forty Years
Students interpret a political cartoon, which sums up the entire history of U.S.-Cuban relations from one perspective.