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What's Going On?—California and the Vietnam Era Supplemental Lessons

For high school teachers

The California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA), in concert with the Oakland Museum of California, is touring a smaller version of  What’s Going On? – California and the Vietnam Era. Please visit www.ceraexhibits.org for more information.

OMCA What's Going On? Exhibition page
For press information see www.museumca.org/press/

Welcome high school educators,

These three lessons were developed as resources to enrich your teaching of the Vietnam War era at the 11th grade level. The lessons assume students have already conducted an introductory study of this historical period. They are based on research and primary source materials that were gathered during the creation of the special exhibition, What’s Going On?—California and the Vietnam Era. The lesson activities can occur over three days to two weeks depending upon the amount of research you want students to conduct on the topic.

  • From the Quiet Decade to Social Revolution: How the Vietnam War Transformed California
  • 1968: Year of Social Change and Turning Point in Vietnam and the U.S.
  • Coming to Terms: Stories of Southeast Asian Political Refugees

Each of the three lessons relates to how this era has shaped California and U.S. history. These lessons need not be taught in any specific sequential order, but rather should be used according to your classroom needs and to supplement your curriculum. You will find activities that engage students in critical thinking and historical research, including oral histories and other rich resources. This history will come alive for students as they discover the personal stories of those who lived through this time. Students are encouraged to explore the complexities of this period by examining it from multiple perspectives. The lessons are tied to the State of California Content Standards in History/Social Science for grade 11.

Important note:
The Vietnam War (or the American War as the Vietnamese call it) is still fresh in people’s minds, and still a trauma for many. You may find that teaching or discussing this era in class intersects with stories students have learned from family and community members. Sometimes this is positive, and sometimes this can be challenging. Students who lost an uncle or grandfather in Vietnam may be affected, as well as Southeast Asian students who may have a different family version of the Tet Offensive or of the Boat People exodus. These situations are “teachable moments,” times when you can help students bring their own stories and perspectives of others into positive engagement. Reflective journal writing, as recommended in these lessons, is just one activity that can help students process this research that may contradict or resonate with their own family histories. Teachers should anticipate times when such situations may arise.

However you use these lessons, we hope you are able to further the discussion, and to engage your students in exploring the many sides of this controversial era.

Oakland Museum of California
Education Department

Credits:
Elizabeth Lay, curriculum writer
Rick Ayers, curriculum developer
Rachel Davidman, project manager

Marcia Eymann, project director, What’s Going On?—California and the Vietnam Era and Content Specialist
Diane Curry, curatorial specialist
Khatharya Um, contributing writer
Sonny Le, consultant
Lori Anderson, webmaster
Barbara Henry, chief curator of education

WGO book is available in the museum bookstore CCH handbook The WGO book and the CCH handbook are available in the museum bookstore.

 

Download Lesson PDFs
Collecting Community History Handbook Excerpts
The OMCA's publication, Collecting Community History: A Training Handbook for Educators, provides students with methods for bringing their community's history to life by conducting original historical research. These excerpts support the student activities in these lessons.
bullet Historiography: Learning the Skills and Processes of an Historian
bullet Interviewing: Conducting Oral History Interviews
bullet Writing: Communicating Historical Research

Lesson 1
bullet Lesson Plan #1: From the Quiet Decade to Social Revolution: How the Vietnam War Transformed California
Lesson 1 Student Handouts
bullet The Legacy of McCarthyism
bullet Questions for Berkeley in the Sixties
Lesson 1 Oral Histories
bullet

Oral History: Charles Benninghoff

bullet Oral History: Clay Carson
bullet Oral History: Karen Jo Koonan
bullet Oral History: Lois Lundberg
bullet Oral History: Frank McAdams
bullet Oral History: Tom Smothers

Lesson 2
bullet

Lesson Plan #2: 1968: Year of Social Change and Turning Point in Vietnam and the U.S.

Lesson 2 Student Handouts
bullet Discussion Questions for Hearts and Minds
bullet Guidelines for Completing Timelines
bullet Internet Research Study Group
bullet Oral History Process and Resources
bullet Recommended Websites for Internet Research
bullet Student Group Project
bullet 1968 Timeline
bullet Character Tracking for Hearts and Minds
bullet General Vo Nguyen Giap
bullet More about the 1968 Tet Offensive
bullet 1968: Oral History Project
bullet Essay on 1968 and Oral History
Lesson 2 Oral Histories
bullet Oral History: Judy Grahn
bullet Oral History: David Harris and John Burns
bullet Oral History: David Hilliard
bullet Oral History: Doug Ryan
bullet Oral History: Margaret Salazar
bullet Oral History: Irv Sarnoff
bullet Oral History: Barbara Sonneborn
bullet Oral History: Charley Truilljo
bullet Oral History: Bruce Weigel
Lesson 2 Civil Rights Oral Histories
bullet Oral History: Bill Brent
bullet Oral History: Clay Carson 2
bullet Oral History: Dr. Maulana Karenga 1
bullet Oral History: Dr. Maulana Karenga 2
bullet Oral History: Lois Lundberg 2
bullet Oral History: Bobby Seale
Lesson 2 Politics Oral Histories
bullet Oral History: Lou Cannon
bullet Oral History: Lionel Chetwynd
bullet Oral History: Widening the Social Divide 1965-1966
Lesson 2 Tet Offensive Oral Histories
bullet Oral History: John Baky
bullet Oral History: Ezra Pratt 1
bullet Oral History: Ezra Pratt 2
bullet Oral History: Frank McAdams
bullet Oral History: Barbara Sonneborn 1
bullet Oral History: Barbara Sonneborn 2
bullet Oral History: Winnie

Lesson 3
bullet Lesson Plan #3: Coming to Terms: Stories of Southeast Asian Political Refugees
Lesson 3 Student Handouts
bullet Field Journal Guidelines
bullet Guidelines for Internet Research Team Presentation
bullet Guidelines for Using Oral History
bullet Internet-Based Research Project Guidelines for Working Collaboratively
bullet Internet Research Project—Oral Histories from Southeast Asian Refugees Recommended Websites for Internet Research
bullet KWL Chart
bullet Oral History Process and Resources
bullet

Our Journeys, Our Communities: Southeast Asians In American History, By Khatharya Um

bullet

Southeast Asian Refugee Oral History Presentations: Guidelines for Working Collaboratively

bullet Topics with Resources for Internet-based Research on Southeast Asian Countries and the Vietnam War
Lesson 3 Oral Histories
bullet Oral History: Vu Hong Pham
bullet Oral History: Anh Phong
bullet

Oral History: Lam Nguyen

bullet Oral History: Ham Tran

PDFs require Adobe Reader, which is free to download and use

“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

 

 

2006 Oakland Museum of California | Credits |Phone: 510-238-2200