About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Historic Landmark nomination file, "United States Air Force Academy, Cadet Area" (with photographs), and other materials on the Air Force, the Air Force Academy, and the Cold War. This study was conducted in partnership with the United States Air Force Academy through a Cooperative Agreement with the Organization of American Historians. The lesson plan was written by Brenda K. Olio, former Teaching with Historic Places staff member. The lesson was edited by staff at the United States Air Force Academy and the Teaching with Historic Places program. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in American history, social
studies, and geography courses in units on 20th-century military history,
aviation history, the Cold War, defense policies under Truman and Eisenhower,
or modern architecture.
Time period: Early to mid 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe how and why the role of military air power expanded
from World War I to the Cold War.
2) To evaluate how the Cold War influenced national defense policies in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
3) To identify the major reasons why the United States Air Force Academy was established.
4) To describe the architectural style and layout of the Air Force Academy and analyze how it symbolizes both the time period and the mission of the Academy.
5) To research the impact of the Cold War in their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) two maps showing Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy;
2) three readings on the Air Force, the early Cold War era, and the establishment of the Air Force Academy;
3) one illustration of a 1954 Colorado Springs Committee brochure;
4) one drawing of the Air Force Academy site plan;
5) six photographs of the Air Force Academy.
Visiting the site
The U.S. Air Force Academy is located eight miles north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The campus is open to visitors daily between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. A Visitors Center features informative exhibits on cadet life. Visitors must use the North Gate Entrance, exit 156B on Interstate 25. For more information, visit the Air Force Academy website.