Skip to Main Content

Tear Down This Wall: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and Responsibility

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • In what ways did Ronald Reagan exercise responsibility to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and others?
  • What was Ronald Reagan’s identity during the Cold War? To what extent do you see a consistent message in the various statements he made about communism from 1952 – 1987?
  • With respect to communism and the Soviet Union, how did Reagan see his purpose as president during the 1980s?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society and Reagan?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost him?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will analyze Ronald Reagan’s character as a leader and his actions in speaking out against communism throughout his career, in spite of opposition.
  • Students will examine Reagan’s understanding of responsibility as an American citizen.
  • Students will understand why acting responsibly affects the future of the United States.
  • Students will act responsibly in their own lives to protect freedom.

Student Handouts