Lesson Plans

Free Lesson Plans for Teachers

WHDE offers a set of free resources for teachers to help students better understand Korea. The lesson plans cover a variety of topics including geography, religion, economic development, culture, history, and the Korean War. Search our archive of lessons plans by topic, skill or grade level.

 
Skills
 
Topics

Choosing Sides in the Korean War

convoy of military trucks

This lesson is primarily designed for use in a modern world history survey course, specifically within a unit that examines how forces unleashed by the Cold War and decolonization affected many developing nations in the post-WWII era. The lesson is purposely brief so that it can be realistically incorporated into a survey course, although lesson activities could be expanded. In this lesson, students will explore how the forces of decolonization and the Cold War impacted the people of Korea between 1945-1950, as well as determined policy choices made by the United States and the Soviet Union. Students will examine the various perspectives that existed within post-colonial Korea, as well as those from the Americans and Soviets. Students will use these perspectives to identify likely allies and will create a criteria for alliances.

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PDFWord

Author: Kristin Kramer

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 1-2 50-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Cause and Effect, Comparison

Topics: Cold War, Korean War

Continuous, Innovative, and Diverse: Korean Historical Developments from 1200-1450

thatched-roof buildings in village

In this lesson, students will answer the questions: 1 How were belief systems utilized to strengthen the legitimacy of Korean rulers? 2. Explain the effects of Chinese cultural traditions on Korea over time.

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PDFWordSupplemental PDF

Author: Rachelle Strang

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 90 minutes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2020

Skills: Analysis, Cause and Effect

Topics: Culture, Religion

Nuclear Attack on Seoul and Tokyo – Teaching About the Crisis with North Korea

map of North Korea with bomb-blast radii

Students will explore the possible impact of how a potential first strike against North Korea could lead to an attack on Seoul and Tokyo.

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PDFWord

Author: Tom Mueller

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 90 minutes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2020

Skills: Analysis, Cause and Effect

Topics: Current Events, North Korea

The Continuation of the Korean War Along the DMZ

four US soldiers with large gun

Since the surrender of Japanese forces in 1945 the Korean peninsula has been divided along the 38th parallel. North of the 38th parallel the communist nation of North Korea was founded and to the south the capitalist system of South Korea. As a result of the Korean War the 38th parallel became a demilitarized zone dividing the two countries until a formal peace agreement could be signed. Though this armistice has been effect since July 23, 1953 some events along the DMZ and other parts of the Korean Peninsula have increased the reopening of open conflict between the two nations.In the next lesson students will build on their knowledge of the Korean War and its legacy through reading primary and secondary sources about the events that have brought the two nations to the brink of open warfare. Students will complete the activity through a guided method to increase understanding.

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PDFWord

Author: Craig Wood

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2 50-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Cause and Effect, Comparison

Topics: Communism, DMZ, Korean War

The Hermit Kingdom – Exploring the History Behind the Name

temple

This lesson is intended to connect current events with the past in order to better understand the United States’ relationship with Korea today, both North and South. Note: (The lesson is designed to be utilized immediately after the topics of Western intrusion in China and Japan in the Age of Imperialism. Both of which remain key topics in World History curricula, while Korea’s interaction with the West continues to be omitted)

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PDFWord

Author: Leonore Heino

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2-3 class periods - 50 minutes each

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Cause and Effect

Topics: Current Events, Hermit Kingdom, Imperialism

Whose War is the Korean War?

soldiers in cemetery

The main focus of this lesson is to illustrate why each party (South Korea, North Korea, US and China) are engaged in what has become a perpetual war of the Koreas. The lesson attempts to show that each nation has really no reason to end a “war” that for the most part is “bluster.”

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PDFWord

Author: Matthew Britton

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 135 – 180 min

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Cause and Effect, Comparison

Topics: China, Korean War, North Korea