The Vietnam War


Explore classroom lesson plans related to The Vietnam War, the latest documentary from filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

  • The War at Home: Patriotism, Service, and Protest

    In this lesson, students will watch and listen to different perspectives about the value of fighting in the Vietnam War and the value of protesting the war.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The War at Home: The Vietnam Experience in Music

    Students will view a segment from THE VIETNAM WAR and examine lyrics from selected songs from the Vietnam era. They will share their thoughts and viewpoints on these lyrics in a class discussion. 

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Who Fought in the War: Who Served and Who Didn’t

    Students will view two video segments from THE VIETNAM WAR that focus on those Americans who served in the military in Vietnam and those who did not. In the first clip, four men describe their incentives for enlisting to go to war. In the second clip, students hear from Americans who chose not serve, how they avoided going to Vietnam, and why. Students will complete two graphic organizers to help them identify the motivations of, and see the similarities and differences among, those who served in Vietnam and those who didn’t. 

    Grades: 9-13+
  • How the War was Fought: The Things They Carried

    In THE VIETNAM WAR, Vietnam veteran and author Tim O’Brien reads from his book The Things They Carried. In this lesson, students analyze O’Brien’s writing, using literature to learn about soldiers’ experiences in war. They try their hand at writing about the things they themselves carry, and what those things say about them.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The War at Home: The 1968 Democratic National Convention

    In this lesson, students will view segments from THE VIETNAM WAR and complete a graphic organizer to help them make conclusions about what they see. They then will use the information from the organizer to role-play a police officer, demonstrator, convention delegate, or someone watching the convention at home. Then, they will write a letter to a friend or family member from the point of view of someone who witnessed the event. 

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The War at Home: Richard Nixon and the 1968 Presidential Election

    Students will view video segments from THE VIETNAM WAR detailing the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Johnson administration and presidential candidate Richard Nixon related to the peace talks with North Vietnam prior to the election of 1968.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The War at Home: the Pentagon Papers: National Security versus the People’s Right to Know

    Students will view selected video segments from THE VIETNAM WAR and examine various viewpoints in regard to the legality of the publication of the Pentagon Papers. 

    Grades: 9-13+

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