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Teaching The Vietnam War
Transcript of Teaching The Vietnam War
Developing Argument through Close Reading and Analysis of Primary Sources
Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development:
Social Studies Team
to Philip Panaritis
Edward T. O'Donnell
1. How many Americans died in the Vietnam War?
2. True or False: Minorities served in disproportionately high numbers in Vietnam.
3. What percentage of soldiers who served in Vietnam were drafted?
25 50 60 75
4. What percentage of the American public opposed the Vietnam War in 1967?
30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
5. Who won the Tet Offensive?
6. How many US casualties occurred as a result of the
Gulf of Tonkin Incident?
2. False; 88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian, 10.6%
(275,000) were black, 1.0% belonged to other races
5. US Forces
“If this country has been misled, if this committee, this Congress, has been misled by pretext into a
war in which thousands of young men have died, and many more thousands have been crippled for
life, and out of which their country has lost prestige, moral position in the world, the consequences
are very great ..."
Connections and Reactions
What are the challenges we face as
educators when teaching about the Vietnam War?
1) Hello Vietnam by Johnny Wright; 1965
2) Talking Vietnam by Phil Ochs; 1969
Play Your video
Peace Without Conquest by LBJ, John Hopkins University April 7, 1965
Senator Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee, March 1968 in a closed session of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Testimony by John Kerry
to The Foreign Relations Committee
on April 22, 1971
Focus Question for Creating Argument:
Was United States intervention in
the Vietnam War justified?
Looking at Documents
Each person in your group will receive a different document package.
The documents vary in length and type.
There will be an analysis/pre-writing activity for each.
Complete the activity and be prepared to share with your group.
Mark up your document using the close reading prompts.
In your groups, share your document and the activity that you were asked to complete.
Did the activity help your understanding of the document(s)?
Are there connections between the documents in your group? If so which ones and how?
How do these lead to answering the focus question?
What's missing? Do you have enough information?
Beyond Vietnam, by MLK Jr. Riverside Church, April 4, 1967
New York Times; August 4, 1964
What are the challenges we face?
How does this connect to your work as instructional leaders?
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
A.Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Social Studies Practice:
Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence
1. Ask questions.
2. Recognize forms of evidence used to make meaning in
3. Identify the author or creator of a book or map.
4. Identify opinions expressed by others.
5. Create understanding of the past.