“No Guns, Just Flour”: The Berlin Airlift High School United States History Duration: 2 class periods
Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC):
United States History
5.4.1.a Describe the response of the United States to communist expansion in Europe, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift (1948), and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
2.1.B.1.d Evaluate how international issues and interests, such as terrorism, regionalism and human rights affect federal government policy
Lesson Development: Motivation: Display Teacher Resource Sheet #1, “The Candy Bomber.” Tell students that the cartoon is portraying events that actually occurred in Berlin, Germany in 1948. Ask: What do you know about Berlin, Germany in 1948?
(After World War II, Berlin was in the Eastern, Soviet controlled section of a divided Germany) Tell students that you are going to read to them the true story of the Candy bomber.
What was the significance of the actions of the Chocolate Pilot to the children of Berlin?
Go back to the beginning pages of Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, thosethat begin with the quote by Harry Truman. Read the pages to the class. Tell students that they are going to learn about the events that led to and the consequences of the Berlin Airlift.
Divide the class into six groups. Assign each group one of the readings (Student Resource Sheets #3-8). Distribute Student Resource Sheet #1, “Reporter’s Notes: The Berlin Airlift.” Individual students should read their assigned reading and complete the left hand column of Student Resource Sheet #1. As a group, students should discuss their findings and come to a consensus on the “most important” facts in the right hand column of Student Resource Sheet #1.
Groups should report their findings to the class. As each group reports, remaining students should take notes on the left hand side of Student Resource Sheet #2, “Class Notes: The Berlin Airlift.”
Show students Teacher Resource Sheet #3, “Milk…New Weapon of Democracy.”
Ask: What is this document? What is it saying? Discuss.
Display Teacher Resource Sheet #3, “Costs and Benefits of the Berlin Airlift.” Complete as a class.
Assessment: Have students respond to the following prompt.
Your local newspaper is publishing a special edition commemorating the Berlin Airlift. You have been asked to write an article discussing the airlift as seen through the eyes of the young citizens of Berlin. This article should address the following:
The political, economic, and social tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union over Berlin