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Google Earth Learning Activity: The Cuban Missile Crisis Overview: This learning activity is adapted from a Google

Earth map created by Michael Dobbs to accompany his book One Minute to Midnight. The original map file can be found at this address: . It was adapted due to some missing links and photographs that made the map unclear in its present form. This activity focuses on the locations of the weapon storage and launch sites in Cuba during the crisis. This is information that was classified at the time but has been recently released to the public. This sheds light on why the United States acted the way that did and how serious the situation was. Subject Area: United States History Duration: 1 45-minute class period Grade Level: 9-12 Objective: Students will compute the distance between missile sites and major targets in the United States. Students will examine the missile sites and describe why the Cubans and Soviets likely chose them during this time. Standard Addressed: New Mexico State Social Studies Standards 9-12 benchmark 2-b New Mexico State Social Studies Standards 9-12 benchmark 1-B Procedure: Begin by having students open up the file cubanmissilecrisis.kml using Google Earth Have students begin by reading through the descriptions of each of the places labeled on the map this does not need to be in any particular order. o Students should use this information to answer the first three questions on the handout. Next have students use the ruler tool to measure the distance between the missile sites and the two major targets in the United States. o After measuring, students should use the Internet to research the capabilities of weapons that the Soviet Union possessed during this time period. o After doing this research, students should answer the final two questions on the handout.

The Cuban Missile Crisis Google Earth Activity 1. Describe the locations of the missile sites that are labeled on the map. What features do they have? Do they seem like likely places for the Soviets to hide/launch missiles?

2. What caused the U.S. (at the time) to believe that some of these places were not holding nuclear missiles? Was this good strategy on the part of the Soviets?

3. Based on what you can see, why do you think the Soviets chose these places as missile storing/launching locations?

4. How far is it from the most likely launch points to the major targets (Washington D.C. and New York) in the United States?

5. Based on what you have learned should the U.S. have been concerned about missiles being fired at these locations from Cuba? Should the United States have dealt with Cuba differently before the situation escalated to this point knowing the distance?