From 1961 to 1973, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong held hundreds of Americans captive.
Grade Range: 8-12
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/12/2016
This inquiry is focused on the compelling question “Is protest patriotic?” The question challenges the notion that protest against authority is unpatriotic and asks students to consider whether America’s democratic institutions are strengthened through occasional opposition to American leadership. This inquiry deals with the Vietnam War era (1964–1973), focusing primarily on the national and international challenges America faced during the presidential administrations of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Students have an opportunity to learn about the reasons for and against the antiwar protests of the Vietnam War era, the methods used to protest the Vietnam War, and the ways in which America’s towns, schools, and families were divided over war policy. In investigating the compelling question, students grapple with issues related to message versus method: Could one agree with the message of antiwar protesters while disdaining the methods of protest? Could one support Nixon’s goal to stem the spread of communism while protesting the bombing of Vietnamese and Cambodian villages? This inquiry challenges students to examine their own views on patriotism and evaluate whether a soldier with a rifle and a protester with a bullhorn can be equally patriotic.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
3B: Consider multiple perspectives.
3C: Analyze cause-and-effect relationships.
3D: Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.
3F: Compare competing historical narratives.
3I: Evaluate major debates among historians.
Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 (Text Types and Purposes): Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Common Core State Standards (Grades 6-8)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6 (Craft and Structure): Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 6-8)
D2.Civ.7.6-8. (Civics): Apply civic virtues and democratic principles in school and community settings.
D2.Civ.8.6-8. (Civics): Analyze ideas and principles contained in the founding documents of the United States, and explain how they influence the social and political system.
D2.Civ.10.6-8. (Civics): Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.
D2.His.12.6-8. (History): Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources.
D2.His.14.6-8. (History): Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
D3.3.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
D3.4.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
D4.2.6-8. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.