Quick Links

Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Main Navigation


Cold War

Sub Navigation


Home > breadcrumbs: Resources > breadcrumbs: History Grant Lesson Plans > breadcrumbs: Cold War >


Ajax Loading Image



August 15, 2013

Spies, Lies, Espioniage


Jeanne Sneddon

TAH Grant 5 Cs

Cadre Lesson Plan--McCarthy



SS2 1.6, 1.9 Knowledge of principles and processes of governance systems

SS3 1.6, 1.10 Knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri and the United States

Character trait education



Introduction: Discussion and brainstorming about character traits
Possible traits to discuss: Service (McCarthy probably felt like he was doing a service to the country to rid it of Communists.) Integrity (Was McCarthy exhibiting integrity when he presented the numbers of people believed to be Communists? or the names of possible Communists?) Perseverance (McCarthy was very determined in his efforts.) Discuss McCarthy and the background information on the pretest. Teacher might choose to grade the pretest in class and have the grading be a teaching moment to discuss the main ideas.

PowerPoint presentation: What’s My Address?

  1. Students will create an address following the directions on the PowerPoint presentation. Skills used will be evaluation of the chronology, the historical narrative, and decision-making.
  2. Students will read Joe McCarthy’s telegram to President Truman Feb. 11, 1950. The following issues should be identified in the speech: social, political, economic, and cultural.
  3. Student groups will write a response to McCarthy’s accusations in a business letter format including the key points in his telegram. Students should take a position on whether they think the idea will be successful or not. If not, students should give an alternative plan or proposal.
  4. Students will read the draft of a letter that Truman composed to confront McCarthy’s accusations.
  5. Students will compare Truman’s letter to the letter the group composed.
  6. Discussion points: Truman probably did not send his letter. Why do you think he decided not to send it? How can we apply our character education traits to these primary source documents of Truman and McCarthy?


Link to the Primary Source Documents

Post Test 





McCarthyism Pretest/Posttest


  1. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist tirade began when he charged that there were Communists in high positions in the __________, and ended when he charged there were Communists in high places in the _________.
    1. State Department; Army
    2. Defense Department; Army
    3. Senate; Supreme Court
    4. Army; State Department


  1. The communist paranoia of American politics was reflected in the:
    1. HUAC investigations.
    2. Army-McCarthy hearings.
    3. Federal Employee Loyalty Program.
    4. All of the above.


  1. Joseph McCarthy was a senator from:
    1. Texas
    2. Missouri
    3. Massachusetts
    4. Wisconsin




  1. Describe the conflicts that Americans faced during the Second Red Scare.  What did they have to fear?  What were their options?  Was the American way in danger?  Was this necessary for the continued security of the United States? 








Back To Top