Skip to Content

Korea in the Classroom

Curriculum Resources Put Current Events in Historical Context

Found In: Social Studies, 6-8, 9-12

North Koreas shelled of Yeonpyeong Island and the subsequent joint South Korean and U.S. Naval exercises in the Yellow Sea have raised tensions once again in an already tense region of the world.

The following lessons, activities, and resources will help establish a context for this recent crisis.

Lesson Plans

Understanding the Koreas ( MS Word, 36 KB, 3 pgs.)
Students in grades 9-12 develop an understanding of current U.S.-North Korea relations and write persuasive essays supporting a point of view about likely outcomes.

Divided Peninsula: Six Decades of Military and Political Tension in Korea
Students in grades 7-8 investigate the history of a divided Korea to better analyze current news, political issues, conflicts and challenges in this part of the world.

Why Is North Korea Going It Alone?
Students in grades 9-12 examine the divide between North and South Korea, the ideological differences between them, and the tensions resulting from North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons.

Face-Off: United States Foreign Policy with North Korea
Students in grades 6-12 examine past and present conflicts and foreign policy actions taken by the United States and North Korea. Decide what the United States should do to ease tensions with North Korea in the future.

Kim's Nuclear Gamble
Students in grades 6-12 research the history of relations between North Korea and the United States. They model negotiating strategies to explore possible resolutions to nuclear proliferation.

Reporting on War from Korea to the Persian Gulf
Students explore reporting during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars, determine how reporting was similar, how it differed, and how reporting during these wars may have shaped journalism in Iraq. A PDF version ( PDF, 72 KB, 7 pgs.) is also available.

Impact of Russo-Japanese War (1904–05) on Korea ( MS Word, 1.9 MB, 5 pgs.)
In this unit, students in grades 9-12 investigate the causes and effects of the Russo-Japanese War and its impact on Korea. Students write a culminating analytical essay.

Exploring Korea ( MS Word, 60 KB, 7 pgs.)
In this unit, grades 7-12 create a PowerPoint virtual country tour, including historical, cultural, social, travel, weather, and language information.

Korea: North and South ( PDF, 875 KB, 9 pgs.)
Analyze the relationship between North and South Korea and explore the possibility of reunification.

North/South Issues
Eleven more lessons covering North/South Issues for students in grades 6-12 in PDF format.

Downloads by Subject Area
K-12 lessons in PDF format covering 15 more subject areas, such as art, geography, religion, and women.


Teacher’s Guide: Asia Rising: 1951-1988
Research and compare aspects of the Japanese and Korean economies during the Twentieth Century. Examine Japan's educational system to determine how it contributes to the country's economic growth.

People’s Century: Asia Rising
Program description, interviews, and stories related to video listed below.

Other Resources

Korean History

South Korea

North Korea



Asia Rising: Part 1 (8:53), Part 2 (9:10), Part 3 (7:47)
This part of the PBS series The People’s Century traces the economic rise of Japan and Korea following World War II.




Average User Rating (0 users)

3 stars
of 5.

Your Rating