Global Conflict and Civil Rights
Age 12-14: Concept 2 - Semester 2: Unit 4

In this unit, you will learn about the years following World War II in the United States. Following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were involved in a military arms race in what was known as the Cold War. The Cold War also saw a rise in communism, a social and political system in which, theoretically, all resources of a nation are shared equitably. The 1950s and 1960s also involved the Civil Rights movements which saw the rise of famous protesters such as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who lead non-violet protests in support of equality. The 1960s were a time of cultural explosion as America became known as a time of peaceful protest and rebellion against cultural norms. For your final project, you will create a time capsule that might tell future historians more about conflict and activism of the 1960s.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 12-14 social studies units utilize a Timeline of American History along with a stack of timeline cards to enhance your child's understanding of the chronology of historical events.
$15.00 #1809 Age 12-14 - American History Timeline Cards
$7.00 #1810 Age 12-14 - American History Timeline


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at an 8th or 9th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Can write a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the eighth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The Post-War World
  • Lesson 2: The Cold War and Communism (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: The Cold War
  • Lesson 4: Civil Rights (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Sit-Ins and Freedom Rides
  • Lesson 6: The Ballot
  • Lesson 7: New Directions and Other Social Movements
  • Lesson 8: Korea
  • Lesson 9: Vietnam
  • Lesson 10: The Culture of the 1960s
  • Final Project: A Time Capsule (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze examples of literature, the arts, and pop culture in terms of their historical context and significance to Cold War events. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze various policy plans and doctrines in terms of their development, implementation, and strategic relevance during the Cold War. (Social Studies)
  • Assess the influence of technological advances on economic development and daily life. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast the approach taken by some civil rights groups such as the Black Panthers with the nonviolent approach of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast the various political viewpoints surrounding issues of the post World War II era. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how Cold War tensions were intensified by the arms race, the space race, McCarthyism, and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the findings of which were confirmed by the Venona Papers. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how litigation such as the landmark cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminster, Hernandez v. Texas, Delgado v. Bastrop I.S.D., Edgewood I.S.D. v. Kirby, and Sweatt v. Painter played a role in protecting the rights of the minority during the civil rights movement. (Social Studies)
  • Describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights acts of 1957 and 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the roles of political organizations that promoted civil rights, including ones from African American, Chicano, American Indian, women's, and other civil rights movements. (Social Studies)
  • Describe U.S. responses to Soviet aggression after World War II, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Berlin airlift, and John F. Kennedy's role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Social Studies)
  • Evaluate changes and events in the United States that have resulted from the civil rights movement, including increased participation of minorities in the political process. (Social Studies)
  • Evaluate the extent to which literature, the arts and pop culture reflected and manipulated fear, anxiety, and dissent during the Cold War. (Social Studies)
  • Evaluate the major changes and events that have effected the roles of local, state, and national governments. (Social Studies)
  • Explain the causes, actions, and implications of various Asian conflicts during the Cold War, including but not limited to those conflicts in China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the causes of United States' involvement in Vietnam and examine how this involvement affected society. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the roles of significant leaders who supported various rights movements, including Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, Hector P. Garcia, and Betty Friedan. (Social Studies)
  • List economic and technological advances occurring in individual states and the nation as a whole since 1970, and assess their influence on specific states' roles in the nation and the world. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the impact of significant national and international decisions and conflicts in the Cold War on the United States. (Social Studies)
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