Lessons Integrating Information and Communication Technology within a Curriculum Area


David Seegmiller


The Cold War Culture

Grade Level

Grades 11-12

Subject Area

Global History 12

Overview of unit/lessons/activities (assumptions of prior knowledge/learning)

Students will gain an understanding and awareness of the relationship between critical events in the world and the perceptions of these events in a society through music and pictures.

Students shall become aware through songs and pictures about the threat of nuclear war and war
in general during the Cold War period.

Students will gain an understanding of how these songs and pictures were a projection of a society that was concerned with the very real threat of global annilihation.

Students will consider the mindset of a society in which the leaders were thought by some to be uncaring and irresponsible and by others to be upholding the highest principles of democracy and freedom.

Correlations to ICT and curriculum outcomes

Information and Communication Technology Outcomes
CT 9.1 Operates a wide variety of school media, computer, and other educationally appropriate equipment for learning communication, and the representation of their learning, independently and safely with teacher supervision.

PTS 9.4 Create and manipulate sound, images and video, using digital equipment and computer-based editing, to represent their learning for particular audiences and purposes, independently and safely.

BOC 12.1 (relates to 9.1 – 9.4) use a wide variety of technology, demonstrate a clear understanding of technological applications, and consistently apply appropriate technology to solve curriculum problems

Projected timeline for preparation and for carrying out activities

Several hours may be needed to introduce concepts, identify characteristics of the concepts (see Lesson A below) to locate appropriate websites and finally to collect songs in real time or download songs if necessary.

Songs may be downloaded and used for educational purposes under conditions explained at http://www.creativecommons.com.

A useful addition to this exercise would be to have students compose and send emails to publishers, requesting educational permission to use their materials.

Students may decide to integrate pictures or photos appropriate to the Cold War culture. Again, students should be reminded to ensure they are using copyright-cleared materials, either through Creative Commons or through personal permission from the owner.

In all, expect this lesson to take approximately 3-5 hours, depending upon the differing levels of student competency.

Equipment Requirements: (computers, software, etc)

Computer access


Microsoft Word

Teaching materials provided (Blacklines, worksheets, templates, teacher materials)


Teacher's classroom notes and materials

Viewpoints: Teacher's Resource Book

Resources available for teacher/student use (websites, references, etc)






If You Love This Planet – National Film Board of Canada production available for loan from NS Department of Education Media Library:
http://lrt.ednet.ns.ca – Choose Media Library (videos) > Search online catalogue and type the title in the search box



Information about films of the cold war: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~landon/Local_Information_Files/Films%20of%20the%20Cold%20War.htm

Detailed instructions for each activity or lesson (teacher notes, activity information, learning strategies, teacher role, student roles)

Lesson A:
Explain the term culture, the role that music plays in any culture, how much of the music of the 1960's was identified with the anti-Vietnam protests of the period; that the popular music of the 50s,70s and 80s helped demonstrate the revulsion to war in general and the overwhelming fear of all out nuclear war. A possible activity might be to show the video by NFB of Dr. Helen Caldicott called If You Love This Planet.

Lesson B:
Have students begin a search of websites for pictures, ,songs and lyrics dealing with Cold War events.
Students can do this independently of each other or in groups of 2-3. It must be done with teacher supervision at all times. Students must learn to save their research and acknowledge the sources of their materials.

Lesson B may take several classes. Linking music to a PowerPoint presentation can be difficult and teachers should be prepared to assist students in this. Copyright concerns must be discussed as part of this lesson.

Ten songs and ten to fifteen pictures would be sufficient but more is acceptable.

Lesson C:
The purpose of this lesson is to have the students understand the interconnections that exist in our society between mainstream issues and our personal expressions of music, art and photography. This lesson allows the student to see the connections between these areas by comparing the lyrics with the factual knowledge that they have acquired about the Cold War. They can do this by writing a commentary to accompany the lyrics or by using PowerPoint to combine both music and pictures dealing with historical events.

Student products expected

The product the student creates will depend on teacher expectations. A picture poster of events with a write up may be a minimum expectation. A collection of songs and an explanation of how the lyrics relate to the events would be more difficult. A synthesis of all three resources presented together in a PowerPoint or similar presentation would show the student's level of understanding of the issues and events involved in the Cold War.

Samples (include teacher notes, assessment information, student work if available)

Logistics (organization, grouping, management issues, access to technology)

Small groups of students (2-3) or individuals are ideals. Students will learn and contribute less in a larger setting.

If there are not enough school computers available, parts of this activity may completed at home or at community access – libraries, etc.

Assessment information (e.g., rubrics for products and/or process)

Using a rubric is a good way to assess student involvement and success in understanding key concepts, connections and technical expertise.
Such a rubric may include such things as:

  • how well a student has organized and planned in advance
  • willingness to stay on task
  • content accuracy
  • attention to detail
  • adherence to deadlines
  • use of graphics
  • animation and musical looping in PowerPoint presentations
  • originality should be acknowledged
  • the focus of the assignment and the depth of the student's understanding.

The website http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php allows the teacher to build a useful rubric to suit the purposes of the assignment and to focus on the required portions of the work.

Possible extensions

This exercise can be useful in many areas of the Global History, such as:

  • to show the role the invention of the Pill played in changing social values in North America since its creation;
  • to demonstrate global interdependence involving the destruction of rainforests, global warming and other environmental concerns.

Adaptations for students requiring additional support

Students with learning disabilities can copy and paste Cold War pictures from various websites and put together their own PowerPoint collage or poster without any written explanation. They may wish to do an oral presentation with the use of photos or music.

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