Late 20th Century Unit


Looking for engaging activities and lesson plans for teaching the Cold War and modern U.S. history? This Late 20th Century Unit comes with detailed lesson plans, hands-on activities, worksheets, passages and questions, and much more! Save time planning and your students will love learning about people and events related to the Cold War as they complete the hands-on activities.

See the video preview in the description below to take a closer look at this unit!

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Late 20th Century Unit

Late 20th Century Unit is a hands-on unit that combines history and language arts skills! Everything you need to teach a unit about the United States in the late twentieth century can be found here!

What Will I Find in This Late 20th Century Unit?

This unit includes 8 detailed lesson plans. All lessons are hands-on and incorporate literacy skills. Students will investigate–

  • efforts made by the U.S. to help rebuild Europe and Japan after WWII
  • the establishment of the United Nations
  • the U.S. economy after WWII
  • the origins of the Cold War
  • major events during the Cold War (Korean War, Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, Space Race, Arms Race)
  • the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • major policies of the late 20th century (National Defense Education Act, G.I. Bill, Federal-Aid Highway Act, Civil Rights Act)
  • major events of the late 20th century (the baby boom, desegregation of the military, more women enter workforce)
  • globalization, interdependence, and international trade

This Late 20th Century Unit also comes with:

  • 18 Timeline Cards
  • 17 Worksheets
  • 9 Close Reading Passages & Comprehension Questions: All of the passages and questions can also be shared with students digitally and completed using Google Slides.
  • 8 Entry/Exit Tickets
  • 2 Foldables
  • 2 Research-Based Activities: Students will research the United Nations and former Soviet countries.
  • 1 Escape Room Challenge: Students will complete an escape room challenge to learn about major events associated with the Cold War.
  • 1 Group Activity: Groups work together to identify where goods sold in America were made.
  • 1 Quiz
  • 1 Final Test
  • 1 Timeline of Suggested Activities: Provides a timeline for using the activities included within this unit and provides links to websites featuring videos about concepts being taught.
  • Answer keys included throughout

Students will become fully immersed in learning about the late 20th century as they complete hands-on activities, watch video clips, and research past events!

Are Digital Resources Included?

All of the passages and comprehension questions, most worksheets, the quiz, and the test within this Late 20th Century Unit are also included in a digital format and can be shared with students using your Google Drive.

When you purchase this product, you will be given access to a link that will allow you to open the file in Google Slides. You’ll then share that file with your students. The slides can be printed and adapted for students who prefer to answer the questions by hand. You can also view and print a student’s completed version of the slides. Video tutorials are also included to help you share interactive Google Slides with your students.

What Standards Are Covered?

While this Late 20th Century Unit is specifically aligned with Virginia U.S. History SOL USII.8, it also closely matches most U.S. History standards related to teaching about the events and people of the late twentieth century.

What are other buyers saying?

  • “This resource was SO helpful– we were given just a few days to put together packets for distance learning, but your materials made it very stress-free for me. This was a perfect fit for my 6th grade US History II class. I’ve recommended your resources to other middle school teachers in a Facebook group I’m in. I really appreciate your products!” (Sefanie K.)
  • “Wonderful resource!” (David L.)

Want to save money?

This Late 20th Century Unit is included in my U.S. History Part 2 Curriculum Bundle for a discounted price!


Other Information:

©Meghan Vestal, Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom LLC. All rights reserved. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for teachers, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Teachers may NOT upload the product to school/district servers, or to any website, or share digital or print copies. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All sales are final.


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