Classroom Toolkit

Help your students understand the threat of a nuclear North Korea by using any of these zero-prep, ready-to-go activities, choosing the option that best fits your classroom situation and needs. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend getting acquainted with our Teacher Background Guide to help implement our North Korea lesson plans.

If you only have one class:

Go inside the Situation Room of the White House
White House briefing room Have your class get engaged with the crisis by becoming the national security team in the Situation Room of the White House. Choose a student as President, then decide a course of action. As the teacher, you’ll be the President’s Chief of Staff, facilitating the discussion through using the easy-to-use Teacher Directions, PowerPoint, Desk Nametags, Student Policy Guide, and homework. Perfect for a 45 minute class, this option activates your students interest and allows them to understand the basics of the situation. (Click here for Policy Guide for AP Students)

If you have a second day:

Have your students complete the one-class VideoTour
Interested in teaching about North Korea but aren’t sure where to start? This one-period, teacher-vetted VideoTour allows your students to have an understanding of the basic facts of the situation. Perfect for the computer lab or to assign for homework, it comes ready with a printable Video Guide that is ready for class tomorrow. (Teachers, please note: Due to the seriousness of the subject matter, we recommend that you preview these clips beforehand, all of which are available on the video tour webpage that you can share with your students.)

Taking it Further

Try these activities for additional enrichment if you have more time.

Writing a foreign policy brief on North Korea
Have your students hone their rhetorical skills by writing about what they have learned. For teachers of grades 8-12, we recommend having them craft a policy briefing to the President. Advanced Placement classrooms can use the ready-to-be printed essay packet by 38 North’s Jenny Town entitled “Mitigating the Nuclear Threat on the Korean Peninsula”–one that includes vocabulary and and higher level questions.

Watch an extended documentary on the situation
Secret State of North Korea, PBS Frontline, published May 2017 PBS FRONTLINE goes inside the secret state of North Korea to explore life under its new ruler, and investigate the enigmatic “Morning Star King” as he tries to hold onto power. Using new footage smuggled from inside and never-before-told stories, the film offers a rare glimpse of how some North Koreans are defying authority in a country where just being caught with illegal DVDs could mean immediate imprisonment. 53:41 in length