Teaching Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” Speech

EisenhowerEncouraging thoughtful discussion in the classroom can be challenging, but Voices of Democracy makes the task a little easier by providing instructors with discussion starters and additional classroom activities to use when teaching notable speeches form American history.

For example, in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace,” delivered before the United Nations in December of 1953, you might consider using the following prompt to discuss this speech in your classroom:

“Identify and discuss President Eisenhower’s use of metaphors in the speech. How do his metaphors differ in relation to the Soviet Union versus the United States and its allies? Why do you think that he used nature metaphors to talk about atomic energy development? Do you think such nature metaphors represent a strategic choice for President Eisenhower? Why or why not?” 

atoms-for-peace-stampThis question and others, along with additional activities that encourage student research and civic engagement, may be found under the “Teaching-Learning Materials” link located in the “Atoms for Peace” VOD Unit.

Want to check out classroom activity ideas for a different VOD Unit?  Browse through the list of VOD Units, select the speech that interests you, then click on the “Teaching-Learning Materials” link for that address.

Samantha Baskin, Undergraduate intern at the Center for Democratic Deliberation, Penn State University.