Getting set to teach about Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or the U.S. impact and cost of the Vietnam War
? This versatile video-based activity is ideal! Highly engaging for students and easy to implement for teachers, this video activity really brings home the true cost of one of America's most controversial wars: Vietnam.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THESE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL WORKSHEETS
Because I believe that classes differ, even during the same teaching day, I always strive to offer teachers options. This teaching packet for “Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25”
includes two separate question sets so that teachers can differentiate instruction effectively, using the elements they think will work best in their own classrooms.
• Student worksheet with 20 True/False questions. The worksheet is formatted with enough space for students to write answers, but because it doesn’t have official answer blanks, teachers can easily tell students to write on their own paper so that their file copies of the worksheet can be used year after year.
• True/False answer key ---- with most false answers annotated with additional information to assist the teacher!
• Student worksheet with 13 Multiple Choice Questions. Again, the worksheet is formatted so that it can be reusable if teachers desire.
• Multiple Choice answer key
WHERE TO FIND THE VIDEO THAT GOES WITH THESE REMEMBERING VIETNAM WORKSHEETS
The questions included here are based on the a video from the Smithsonian Institution: "Remembering Vietnam -- The Wall at 25.” You can download the 46-minute video from iTunes and have it to use in perpetuity for a very small charge from this iTunes link to downloadable video
Alternately, you can try to find the video on a streaming site. Just run a Google search for the title -- in the past few years, I have found the video on several different sites, but where it might be at any given time is a little bit unpredictable. The video is sometimes also available through the Smithsonian app, available on a variety of platforms including iOS.
HOW TO USE THESE REMEMBERING VIETNAM: THE WALL AT 25 WORKSHEETS IN CLASS:
TWO-DAY LESSON PLAN
The video lasts 46 minutes, which means that with these questions, you can easily turn it into a 2 period unit at the secondary school level.
• Day 1: Introduce the video, show it, and then debrief a little.
• Day 2: Review main points of the video using one of the two question sets, and then use the other set as a follow up activity. For example:
o Use either the true/false questions as a whole class review
o Assign the multiple choice questions as an individual quiz or group activity
ONE-DAY LESSON PLAN
Most middle-school and high-school class periods last long enough that the video and questions can be used in a single class period if teachers desire. To accomplish this, teachers will need to print off the question sets they want and have them ready for use on the day the video will be shown.
• Option 1: Pass out true/false questions and show the video. Have students complete the questions as they watch. Alternately, use the multiple choice questions instead. If the class period lasts at least 5 minutes past the 46 needed to show the video, you will even have time to go over the answers before the bell rings.
• Option 2: As above, but have students do one of the two question sets during the class period and the alternate question set for homework.
VIDEO SUMMARIES FROM THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION: REMEMBERING VIETNAM
"Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25 goes back in time to tell the story of the memorial through the eyes of those who conceived it. Those who were instrumental in pushing it through bureaucratic and political resistance, those intimately involved with its 25-year history, and those it honors. Above all, the documentary tells the story of a place that is more than a memorial - it is a place where old wounds are healed."
"Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25, which originally aired on the HD Smithsonian channel, is a worthy show on how the wall was built and what it has come to mean to both Vietnam survivors and families of soldiers. The show does give a brief thumbnail sketch of the war's notable points, but it does so merely to provide some historical context. There are far more detailed examinations of the war elsewhere and besides, this show is not so much about the war as it is about the aftermath. Instead, it concentrates mostly on the wall: how it was built, how it was financed, and how it became such a symbol for the war. The show explains some stories behind a few of the names. It also explains the manner in which the names are arranged and annotated, with different notations for those confirmed killed and those who are only missing. There are even as many as forty names of soldiers who are still alive who were added by accident. There are also eight names of women, mostly nurses."
Video Activities by Elise Parker