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Soldiers landing in chopper in Vietnam

The Changing World Order

Modern History 11-12
In this activity series, students will study the nature of the changing world order at the end of World War II including the events and ideologies that shaped the future. This activity series includes: the important relationship between Churchill, Truman and Stalin; concepts and ideologies from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold war; the Arms Race and National Security.

150 minutes

Learning Goals

Students will learn about:

The nature and changing of the world order at the end of World War II and its impact on Australian Society.

Aspects of the Cold War including the growing tensions between the US and the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, the Arms Race and rise of Communism.

The evolving nature and impacts of immigration, conscription, the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well as Television with reference to their impact on Australian Society.

What you’ll need

Computer or device for individual research

Projector, TV or Smartboard for the display of images to the class

Students can complete the handouts digitally on their devices or the student handouts can be printed

RSL Education Website for images

Current political map of Europe (required for extension activity 2)

Different coloured Pens/Pencils (required for extension activity 2 only).

Year level

Year 11-12


Modern History


Unit 4: The Modern World Since 1945


The Changing World Order


An overview, as background, of the nature of the world order at the end of World War II, colonialism in the Eastern Communist Bloc and Western Capitalist Bloc, and the emerging role of the United Nations.


Identify links between events to understand the nature and significance of causation, change and continuity over time.


The nature of the origins and early development of the Cold War to 1948, including the ideological, cultural and political differences between the United States and the Soviet Union; and the significance of the Truman Doctrine and the Berlin Blockade.


Identify, locate and organise relevant information from a range of primary and secondary sources.


The evolving nature and character of the Cold War in Europe and the Asia-Pacific from 1948 through to detente, including the arms race and the threat of nuclear war; and the new Cold War of the 1980's.


Analyse, interpret and synthesise evidence from different types of sources to develop and sustain a historical argument.


The involvement of Australia in the Cold War, with reference to foreign policy, nuclear testing at Maralinga, and the war in Vietnam.


Evaluate contested views about the past to understand the provisional nature of historical knowledge and, to arrive at reasoned and supported conclusions.

Image Gallery


The Changing World Order: Analysis and Research

In this activity, students will analyse relationships between world leaders, conduct research on key concepts and ideologies from 1945-1991 including the arms race, ANZUS Treaty and the defining characteristics of the Cold War.

The Changing World Order Round Robin

In this activity, students will research key topics and their effect on Australian Society including: conscription, nuclear proliferation, the impact of television and media, immigration, communism, the political impacts of war, the socio-economic impacts of war and the Soviet Bloc and Domino effect. Students will focus on these key topics with particular references to Australia during World War II, Cold War, Korean War and the Vietnam War. This activity is designed as a Round Robin group activity where students collaboratively build a knowledge base as a class.

The Changing World Order Timeline

The Changing World Order Timeline has been designed to supplement student learning across the Changing World Order activity series. It highlights key events from the outbreak of World War II to the end of the Soviet Union and Cold War in 1991.