Cuba: The Bay of Pigs - April 17, 1961

Teacher Name: Darryl Carr Grade Level(s): 9-12 Course: Social Studies

Anticipatory Lesson:

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge in reference:

• Identify the origins of the Bay of Pigs Invasion
• Students will evaluate the impact of the decision to invade Cuba on U.S.-Cuban
• relations, Presidential support and the presidential decision-making process
• Discuss what influenced President Kennedy’s decision to invade Cuba
• Analyze what actions were taken in the actual Bay of Pigs Invasion

Material and technology needed:
Computer to assess assigned web links

history of Cuba

• Memo written by the CIA dated January 19, 1961, it outlines several reasons for the covert operation such as the fear that Castro will export communism to other Latin
American nations and that support for Castro within Cuban continue to strengthen.
This source can be retrieved at Its original holding location is U.S. Department of State, FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE
UNITED STATES, 1961-1963, Volume X, Cuba, 1961-1962sidential support and the presidential decision- making process

Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba (National Security Archive Documents)

•Group Activity: 20-25 minutes – The students wil be given index cards in class. Four cards say “CIA” and one card will say “CIA Director/Spokesperson Once all of the cards are passed out, the teacher will instruct the students with “CIA” on their index card, to go and wait in the hallway. Instruct them to read over the Top Secret File. They are to wait in the hallway for 5 minutes and discuss what they will tell the President about the Top Secret File. The rest of the class will discuss their roles that are on their index cards: Presidential Advisors. The new United States President will sit at the front of the room (Maybe the Teacher’s Desk). The teacher will ask the rest of the class questions while the “CIA” group is in the hallway:
You are Presidential Advisors. Your job is to advise the President on issues she/he is faced with on a daily basis. Remember you should keep in mind the decisions the President make should be for the good of the entire country.

1. Who gets the praise or blame when the U.S. government makes a good decision? A poor decision?

2. With what types of issues would Presidential Advisors assist the President?

After the CIA group has had their time to go over their presentation, they should return to the room and present to the President and the Presidential Advisors the contents in the “Top Secret” File. After the CIA group’s presentation, the Presidential Advisors should meet together and discuss the situation at hand. After 10 minutes of discussion, each Advisor should give the President their opinion of what they think would be the best option to take in this situation.

After each Advisor state their opinion, the class should go on as a regular class and give the President time to make a decision. Next, the President will come to the front of the room and announce their decision. The President should also state why and how they came up with that decision. Lastly, Poll the class. Do they agree or disagree with President? Why or why not?
What arguments received the greatest emphasis/weight in the decision-making process?


After the lesson, the student will turn a completed Venn diagram showing hypothetical and logical reasoning of their decision. Additionally, each student will provide short answer (3-5) paragraphs on one the following questions: Why did Cuba and the rise of Castro become a focus of U.S. foreign policy? Or, How does the Cuban situation fit into the context of Cold War foreign policy?

The class completion of the Venn diagram can measure the student’s level of understanding.

external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png SCORING RUBRIC FOR BAY OF PIGS ESSAY.docx

external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Venn Diagram.docx