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SUBJECTS — U.S./1945 - 1991; World/Russia; The Cold War;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Leadership; Brothers;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language; 2000; Drama; 145 minutes; Color.
This movie tells the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis from inside the White House. Thirteen Days captures the sense and tension of the times and shows the wise leadership of President John F. Kennedy.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Thirteen Days shows teachers how to correct for several historical misimpressions left by the film. Carefully researched and incorporating formerly classified information, the Learning Guide provides materials for a lesson plan and curriculum supplement, including the background necessary to appreciate the historical references in the film, an evaluation of the roles played by Nikita Khrushchev, John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro, an extensive reading list, links to the Internet, lists of other lesson plans, and more.
Supplemented with the information provided in this Learning Guide, the film recounts how the calm and deliberate judgments by President Kennedy saved the world from nuclear war during the crisis, while mistakes and errors in judgment by Kennedy and Khrushchev led to the crisis. The film is an excellent platform for debates about the Cuban Missile Crisis, nuclear weapons policy during the Cold War, and current foreign policy issues. With the corrections outlined in this Learning Guide, Thirteen Days can serve as a valuable motivator and supplement for a unit on the Cold War.
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Thirteen Days is the tale of the world's close brush with a nuclear Armageddon.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans, and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below two sections from the Learning Guide to Thirteen Days.
Description: It's 1962, the height of the Cold War. The U.S. has caught the Russians secretly installing nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba. President John F. Kennedy convenes a team of advisors to help him decide how to respond. The challenge: how to force the Russians to withdraw the missiles without provoking nuclear war.
Thirteen Days shows President Kennedy's wise leadership in meeting this challenge as he resisted the demands for air strikes and for invasion. If he had given in to the war hawks, we'd all be living in a post-nuclear war world, except there would be hundreds of millions fewer of us, especially in the U.S., Cuba, Russia, and Europe.
Benefits: Thirteen Days is the story of mankind's closest brush with nuclear Armageddon. Many events are portrayed exactly as they occurred. The movie captures the tension that the crisis provoked and provides an example of how foreign policy was made in the last half of the 20th century. Supplemented with the information provided in this Learning Guide, the film shows how wise leadership during the crisis saved the world from nuclear war, while mistakes and errors in judgment led to the crisis. The film is an excellent platform for debates about the Cuban Missile Crisis, nuclear weapons policy during the Cold War, and current foreign policy issues. With the corrections outlined in this Learning Guide, the movie can serve as a motivator and supplement for a unit on the Cold War.
The Learning Guide to the film Thirteen Days contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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