Cover image: Dial M for Missile


Dial M for Missile

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This is a collection of secondary lesson plans from CND Peace Education that focus around the Cuban missile crisis, events in 1962 referred to as "the most dangerous moment in human history" by historian Arthur M Schlesinger Jr, and still resonating today. The lesson plans and activities link to a wide range of curriculum subjects. They enable students to critically consider the Cuban missile crisis and other aspects of the Cold War and peace movement through interactive and creative learning styles. The pack explains how each lesson plan can be taught as a single stand-alone lesson or as a full unit of study. Teachers can gain valuable insight into embedding Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects of learning and British values into their teaching materials and enable students to develop critical thinking through active learning. The following themes and activities are covered:
  • The Cold War
  • Nuclear Bunker role-play based activity
  • Code breakers, and learning how to create codes
  • Practising methods of communication through 'The Red Telephone'
  • Analysing propaganda and how it is used
  • Learning about peace symbols
  • Extracts from When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
  • A collection of images about the peace movement
  • Designing civil defence material
  • The timeline of the Cuban missile crisis
  • Making a time capsule.
This is a very thorough and well thought-out resource that supports students in coming to their own conclusions about a hugely important, and controversial, topic. Review of 'Dial M for Missile': ‘lesson plans that really involve and engage students in the political psychology and moral decision-making of the cold war era… reaches down every corridor across a school and into 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, former teacher and Ofsted inspector, review of Dial M for Missile in Teach Secondary magazine (full review:

Resource contents

  • Teacher’s Pack

    Order hard copy via the website, or download PDFs.

  • Slides

    Each lesson plan can be downloaded separately, and has an accompanying PowerPoint.


Peace, Conflict and Justice

Age Ranges

KS3: ages 11-14, KS4: ages 14-16, KS5: ages 16+


Computing / ICT, Drama, History, Maths / numeracy, Philosophy / P4C / Critical thinking, Politics, RE / RS, Spiritual, moral, social, cultural (SMSC)

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