The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War:

A Nation in Turmoil The Vietnam War

Topic and Intended Audience :

Subject- The theme and topic of my lesson is to have the students understand the 1960's counterculture and peace movement and its impact on the American mainstream and the US government during the Vietnam War . Intended Audience- This lesson is intended for upper level high school students. This portion of American history is usually taught during the students' junior or senior year. Topic and Intended Audience

NJ Curriculum Standards :

Core Content Area: Social Studies- 6.1 U.S. History: America in the World; 12. Postwar United States: Cold War; D. History, Culture, and Perspective 6.1.12.D.12.d C Compare and contrast American public support of the government and military during the Vietnam War with that of other conflicts. 6.1.12.D.12.e Analyze the role that media played in bringing information to the American public and shaping public attitudes toward the Vietnam War. NJ Curriculum Standards

Duration and Goals :

Lesson Duration- About Three to Four Days Goals-My Goal have the students become familiar with the nation’s growing Anti- War sentiments especially, amongst the youth and student population of America. When discussing the Vietnam war, I intend to show how the counterculture and peace movement of the 1960's greatly impacted American culture and government policies. For the most part, the members of the movement were young men and women not much older than the students, whom I am giving the lesson to, and I am going to really drive home the point that people in this very classroom would most likely be directly affected by what was going on. Duration and Goals

Day 1:

Assuming that we have begun to discuss the social unrest caused by the Vietnam War I will start class by explaining to the students that a textbook may not always tell the entire story. I will then introduce the Book A Peoples History of the United States By Howard Zinn . Howard Zinn writes from a different point of view from most American textbooks and when discussing a historical event or period such as the Vietnam War, I feel that it’s very important for students to get as many different points of view as possible. Zinn lived through the war, so many of his accounts are first hand Day 1

Day 1 (Cont) :

I will read aloud Pg 490-492 of A Peoples History which shows how the Kent State shootings and the invasion of Cambodia further fueled the protests, and discuses how the entire nations opinions about the war had shifted by the end of the 1960 ’. Day 1 ( Cont )

Day 1 (Cont) :

After Reading I will have the students break up into four groups and give them a sheet of paper which included vocabulary, people to know and discussion questions I will assign each group member a job, such as t ime k eeper, recorder, group leader, etc. to make sure everyone has a task. This will take up the rest of the period. Day 1 ( Cont )

Day 2:

The first order of business is to go over the vocabulary terms and discussion questions from the previous day. I will have the students get back into their groups and the group spokesperson will present their answers. The rest of the class would be dedicated to showing different types of media that has to do with my topic. I will show the students a short video which directly correlates with the reading I did the day before. The video is from a film which is also by Howard Zinn . Day 2


http :// Pictures

Political Cartoon :

Political Cartoon

Map :


Poetry :

Poetry Kent State Shootings Who can forget that tragic day The year 1970, the month of May The National Guardsman’s poised on a hill Their rifles aimed, ready to kill Gun fire soon filled the air People screaming and running everywhere The Guardsman’s were shooting at will People afraid to stand still Gun smoke drifted in the air Bodies were scattered everywhere Four students lay there dead Others wounded by the flying lead By now the cops were moving in People were asking, where had they been? Untrained soldiers with loaded guns Killing peoples daughters and sons Many people wondered what gave them the right To move against the students with that much might Why did they shoot into a crowd like that Knowing the students wouldn’t shoot back The students were armed with picket signs But I wondered who committed the crimes? The students were marching against the war What were the guardsmen’s even there for? A demonstration that took a bad turn I wonder if any lessons were learned. From the events that took place that day When four college students were blown away

PowerPoint Presentation:

Math- Number of Troops

Day 3-Position Paper:

Hopefully I have given the students some insight on the political climate during the Vietnam War. The next assignment is for the students to write a five paragraph position paper. I would like the students hypothetically put themselves in the same position as an 18 year old who could be possibly drafted. Would you want go to war and fight for your country? Or would you be on the side of counterculture peace movement. Day 3-Position Paper

Day 3 (Cont) :

The students them to use their notes and anything else presented to them in class to help them with the paper. The students will use the class time to write a first draft in their notebooks. Those who get done first may switch with another student to have them proof read and edit the essay. The final step is publishing the essay. I will attempt to either use a computer labget laptops Day 3 ( Cont )

Day 4 Publishing the Position Paper:

The final step is publishing the paper. I will attempt to either use the schools computer lab or get laptops so it can be done in class. If I do not have the means to do so I will allow the students to take home their proofread drafts to be handed in the next day. This paper will count as a test grade. Day 4 Publishing the Position Paper https ://


I would hope that the students have an understanding of the political climate of the Vietnam war in 1960’s, and how the countercultural movement greatly impacted the American mainstream. Also, I would like to expose the students to music, film and other forms of art how they were powerful tools. Results

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