In this lesson, students will view stories by Vietnam War veterans from the Kansas City area collected as a part of KCPT's Kansas City Vietnam Voices project. They will also view LZ Kansas City: The Fight for Peace, a KCPT video exploring the local protest movement of the time. Finally, they will relate this protest movement to popular protests in the news today.
50-minute class period
Computer or tablet with internet access
Projector or television
Local Voices, International Stories Student Handout (found below in Support Materials)
Website: Kansas City Vietnam Voices (KCPT)
Video: LZ Kansas City: The Fight for Peace (KCPT)
As a class, start with the introductory question:
- What current day events have inspired protests?
As you discuss, explore these additional questions:
- Should these groups have the right to protest?
- How are they protesting?
- What has been the public response?
- What has been the government response?
- Do you think there has been any progress due to protest?
Students will independently use the “Local Voices, International Stories Student Handout (see Support Materials)” and a computer or tablet to explore the personal experiences from local men and women whose lives were impacted during the Vietnam era on KCPT's Kansas City Vietnam Voices.
Ask students to share some of the most interesting stories in a discussion. Potential questions:
- Why did you find this particular story interesting?
- How are these stories similar?
- How are these stories different?
As a class, view LZ Kansas City: The Fight for Peace. Afterwards, use the following questions to spark a discussion:
- Do you feel that these protests were justified?
- Which side of the protest do you think you would have been on?
Discuss a current protest movement (Black Lives Matter, the NFL “Take a Knee” Protest, etc.) as a class. Discussion questions:
- Are these protests the same? Why or why not?
- What reactions did you see to the two different protests? By the public? By government?
- What do protesters hope to accomplish?
- How is this movement similar or different from the Vietnam War protest movement?
Students can expand on their comparison between the Vietnam Era protest movement and another protest movement of today (of their choice) by contrasting the goals, methods, and reaction to both movements in an essay.