Student Activities

Eisenhower: Resolving Conflict

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Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Social Studies
State Standards:
PA Education Standards:
History 8.3.9 A, 8.3.12 A, 8.3.12 D
Reading, Writing... 1.6.8.A.D.E, 1.6.11.A.D.E, 1.8.8, 1.8.11


In his farewell address, Eisenhower talked about the need to resolve conflicts at the conference table—and not to allow them to be decided by the “certain agony of the battlefield.”

In this activity, students will act as they believe Eisenhower would have in resolving a current conflict. Working in groups, students will present the causes of the conflict. Acting as mediators, they will try to develop a solution.


Give students a copy of Handout #5, "Eisenhower's Farewell Address." Have them read it.

Say, "This speech was given just three days before Eisenhower retired from public service, on January 17, 1961."

Ask students to discuss the basic message of this section of the speech:

On what do America's leadership and prestige in the world depend?
"on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment."

Where does Eisenhower believe nations should settle their differences?
at the conference table and not on the battlefield

How does Eisenhower believe differences can be settled?
"not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."

Why does Eisenhower believe that war must be avoided?
Eisenhower says he has "witnessed the horror and lingering sadness of war."
He adds that he "knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization."

Divide students into small groups. Pass out Handout #2, "Acting As a Mediator." Tell them their assignment is to choose a current world conflict, research it, and then conduct a mediation in front of the class with students playing representatives of both sides of the conflict and the mediators. Students should use the handout as a guide to their presentation. Additional information on resolving conflicts is found at the bottom of Handout #5.



Handout #5, "Eisenhower's Farewell Address," and Handout #2, "Acting as a Mediator," for each small group of students

Download Resolving Conflict Materials

Last updated: July 21, 2015