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Yalta and the Post-War World Description of Lesson

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Yalta and the Post-War World

Description of Lesson: How and why was Europe divided after World War II? The Yalta Conference brought Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin together to decide the fate of Europe after Germany’s surrender. Students will compare and contrast the perspectives of the three war leaders.

Goals/Content and Cognitive

Students will need to understand the outcome of World War II focusing on the winners and losers of the European campaign. They will need to know: where Yalta is, why the conference at Yalta took place, and why Yalta was chosen as the meeting place. They will also need to understand the points of view of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union from the stand point of their leaders and how they were communicated at the Yalta Conference. Students will learn how to compare and contrast ideas both similar and opposing and make inferences based on research materials. Students will then have gained the ability to argue points of view based on fact and utilizing position of power to win major concessions. Finally, students will learn to follow a line of thinking and develop a personal opinion.

Links to Curriculum Standards


Historical Interpretation

  1. Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms and values.

10.9 Students analyze the international developments in the post-World World War II world.

  1. Compare the economic and military power shifts caused by the war, including the Yalta Pact, the development of nuclear weapons, Soviet control over Eastern European nations, and the economic recoveries of Germany and Japan

Guiding Questions for This Lesson

A number of students have had parents or relatives that were involved with the Cold War in some capacity whether in a war or through other military service. Therefore, the guiding questions for this lesson would be, “Could the Yalta Conference have had a different outcome?” and “Would the Cold War still have taken place?” These questions will help students evaluate the costs of the Cold War in both economic and social terms, the enslavement of large European populations without their consent or knowledge, and, the impact of the agreement on future generations of Europeans, Americans, and Soviets.

Students will research Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin and their visions of post war Europe. Students will then create a chart to compare and contrast their viewpoints.. Finally, the students will present to the class their research information using their chart as a guideline. Their assessment will be based on the "Oral Presentation Checklist: Grades 9-12"

Learning Connections

Students will need to know the outcome of World War II and the parties responsible for that outcome. They will need to understand the goal of diplomacy and the process that countries use when negotiating agreements. Finally, students will need to understand the term “Cold War” and the impact that that term had on the world. Some students will need a step-by-step guide on the proper techniques in negotiating and diplomacy. In order to prepare for this lesson we will have done an exercise walking the student through the proper techniques of diplomacy and negotiation. Prior to this lesson we will also have discussed the outcome of World War I and the rise to power of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. Finally, the students will need to understand the basis of properly evaluating web sites which was taught in an earlier lesson.

Learning Activities or Tasks
Day 1 - The lesson will begin by a review of what diplomacy is and how it is attained. We will also review the conclusion of World War II focusing on the winning side and who lost the war. Students will then receive seven handouts to get started. They will be given some time to read the handouts and then we will discuss them in class. I will then go over the lesson and what is required.

Day 2 - Students will take the information that was handed out and discussed and utilizing the media lab, come up with at least three views focusing on the position of each of the participants; Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, pertaining to the post-war world (primarily Europe). I will provide some examples of web sites prior to our trip to the media lab.

Day 3 - Students will then chart these similarities and differences on a poster board. The students will use the poster board to determine which of the participants achieved their goals. The charts should clearly illustrate the major opinions of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin and pointing out where each man differed.

Day 4 - The students will use this information to present to the class their view and understanding of which leader “won” their points and how that impacted the world. The students will thereby interpret the outcome of this historical conference by understanding different points of view.

Teaching Strategies

My teaching strategy for this lesson will be one of advisor. I will guide the student in the right direction by employing the Socratic Method: question everything. I plan to offer support and have some web sites available for those students that find it difficult to search properly. The students will research the question, chart the answers, and present their findings to the class. Students will utilize the computer lab to get a majority of the information needed and will be given the ability to decide for themselves the best way to present their findings.

Materials and Resources

Questions: What other support services and resources will you need? How can technology extend and enhance the lesson in ways that would not be possible without it? Will you need additional people to help with this lesson?

Students will be given the following handouts:

Yalta Conference – http:/

The Clash of Issues pages xiii - xiv

“The Yalta Conference” - 2nd Edition by Richard Fenno Jr., published by D.C. Heath and Company 1972

Russia and Poland: The Soviet Promise by Winston Churchill

“The Yalta Conference” - 2nd Edition by Richard Fenno Jr., published by D.C. Heath and Company 1972

Note: This material is from Triumph and Tragedy, Vol. VI of The Second World War by Winston S. Churchill, Book Two, Chapters 3 and 4.
Yalta Conference

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 12, Pages 808 – 809, Published 2003

Yalta Conference

Marxism, Communism & Western Society Volume 8, Pages 397 – 399, Published 1973

Yalta Conference

Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Volume 14, Page 800, Published 1977

Protocol of Proceedings of Crimea Conference

Teacher’s Name: Pete Schlieker

Grade Level: 10th Grade

Content Areas: World History

Time: Four class periods

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