Lesson Plan

Cold War Case Files: The Rosenberg Trial - Was Justice Fairly Served?

The Rosenbergs—executed for their role in a Soviet-era spy ring—continue the captivate the American imagination. Using a history lab format, young historians examine the trove of documents associated with the case, including photographs and court transcripts. They decide whether the Rosenbergs were spies or if they were wrongly convicted in the hysteria of the Red Scare. The thought-provoking resource offers multiple opportunities for assessment, including a writing prompt and worksheets.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Offer the activity to supplement instruction on the Cold War
  • Use the resource as the basis for a debate on McCarthyism and the Red Scare of the 1950s
Classroom Considerations
  • Activity is great for either individual or group work
  • Some items are missing from the resources, but they can be gathered by the teacher
  • Lesson offers an in-depth analysis of the Cold War using a fascinating case study
  • Resource is easy to adapt to a variety of abilities and levels