Dial M for Missile: Exploring themes around the Cuban Missile Crisis

Dial M For Missile is a teaching pack that enables students to engage critically and creatively with themes around the Cuban Missile Crisis, giving them an understanding of the experience of citizens and world leaders during this pivotal moment in human history, and reflecting on similarities and differences in the world today.

The pack comprises seven cross-curricular lesson plans, each with extension activities and differentiation suggestions:

1) Cuban Missile Crisis timeline

2) Propaganda (analysing historic and contemporary propaganda)

3) Codemakers and breakers (learning about encoding and decoding, creating their own, and considering the pros and cons of secrecy and surveillance today)

4) Civil Defence (comparing and contrasting civil defence ideas - and responses to them - during the Cold War and today)

5) Nuclear Bunker (learning about nuclear bunkers, and deciding which items they would prioritise)

6) War Game (putting themselves in the shoes of world leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in a strategic decision-making game)

7) The Peace Movement (learning about the peace movement since the Cold War, including its successes and failures)

The lessons are highly relevant to the curriculum and exam syllabuses of History, Citizenship, Politics, English, and several other subjects, and are an excellent way to help meet SMSC, British Values and Prevent requirements.


'Dial M for Missile is a sensitive, factual and engaging resource... Students enjoyed the process of learning very difficult concepts in meaningful ways. Lesson provided time for reflection and discussion as well as a clear structure to guide less experienced trainers. I was impressed by the quality of resources and the very practical nature of delivery. The series of lessons proved useful during GCSE History and Citizenship lessons and have application to a wider range of topics. The booklet has direct and clear links to British values and SMSC, an excellent and useful tool for the classroom.' - Sera Shortland, Citizenship Coordinator, Hamilton College, Leicester.

'Seven unique lesson plans that really engage students in the political psychology and moral decision making of the Cold War era. This isn't just a pack for history classrooms... [but] every classroom... Accessible for all learners… This is a resource with a high I.Q., offering detail, challenge and real engagement, and in which students aren't taught what, but how, to think.' - John Dabell, Teach Secondary magazine (read the full review at https://twitter.com/CNDPeaceEd/status/834094358953590788)

'Super educational’ – Year 11 student, Southfields Academy, London


Save for later
  • Dial M for Missile: Full Resource .pdf
  • Cover image.pdf
  • Lesson-1---Timeline.pdf
  • Lesson-2---Propaganda.pdf
  • Lesson-3---Codemakers-and-Breakers.pdf
  • Lesson-4---Civil-Defence.pdf
  • Lesson-5---Nuclear-Bunker.pdf
  • Lesson-6---War-Game.pdf
  • Lesson-7---The-Peace-Movement.pdf
  • Propaganda-Image-Presentation.pptx
  • War-Game-Presentation.ppt
  • Code-Breakers-Presentation.pptx
  • Crisis-Missile-Crisis-Timeline-Presentation.pptx

About this resource


Created: Feb 3, 2016

Updated: Jan 4, 2019

pdf, 17 MB

Dial M for Missile: Full Resource

pdf, 2 MB

Cover image

pdf, 828 KB


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Creative Commons "NoDerivatives"

Creative Commons "NoDerivatives"