Lesson Plan: Kent State and the Vietnam War Protest Movement
Author: Matt Doran
Suggested Time: 4-6 class periods
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Windows Media Player or Real One Player
- Windows Movie Maker
- Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator
- Word Processing Program
- Desktop or notebook computer
- Digital Projector
- External Audio speakers
- The Americans, p. 722-755
- World History: Patterns of Interaction, p. 866-867
- The Americans, Reading Study Guide for Chapter 22
- Excerpts from the History Channel Documentary The Century
- Video from Newschannel 4 on the 30th Anniversary of the Kent State shootings
Stand Up and Speak Out!
Students complete the following assignment in the Interactive Student Notebook. What issues are important to you? Make a list of issues that are important enough for you to speak out on or protest. Select one of those issues from your list and sketch a poster you would use at a rally for this cause.
Multiple Intelligence Teaching Strategies:
- Social Studies Skill Builder
As a class examine and interpret political cartoons on the Vietnam War. Identify the symbols and caricatures used in each cartoon and draw conclusions about the cartoonists' message and point-of-view on the Vietnam War.
- Visual Discovery/Writing for Understanding
- Slide Show of Vietnam War Protest - Teacher presents a slide show with the title "The Vietnam War in Pictures." The slide show begins with several recent pictures of the Ohio State campus, then asks students what the relationship is between the pictures and the Vietnam War. The teacher then explains each photo and its relationship to the April 30, 1970 campus protest. The slide show concludes with campus protest photos from Ohio Memory and Ohio Pix.
- Spiral Questions - Teacher uses projector to show photographs from Kent State. Show photographs together, and individual close-ups for several minutes. Students work alone or in pairs to answer the spiral questions on three photographs from the May 4th, 1970 Kent State Protest.
- Act-it-out - Students work in groups to recreate the scene from one of the photographs in the Kent State collection. Students create a script and use the appropriate props to bring the image alive to the class.
- Musical Intelligence
- Kent State Video - Students watch a video clip from a Newschannel 4 story on the 30th anniversary of the May 4 tragedy at Kent State. Students then view a slide show of Kent State protest photos (from Ohio Memory and Ohio Pix) with the words and music from the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song "Four Dead in Ohio." (Visual Discover/Musical Intelligence)
- Other Songs of Protest - Teacher distributes words to "Eve of Destruction," "Get Together," "For What Its Worth" and "Universal Soldiers." Students listen to the songs as they read the lyrics. (Musical Intelligence)
- Response Group
Students work in pairs to debate the Vietnam War. One partner argues the point-of-view of a pro-war hawk while the other partner plays the role of anti-war dove.
Students create a digital movie tribute about the Kent State tragedy. Project criteria and directions:
You have been appointed by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to create a video tribute to the students who lost their lives on May 4, 1970 at Kent State. Your video must include photos with a narration in poem or song.
- Create an original song or poem of protest. The song or poem should have a clear anti-war message and my also use specific references to the Vietnam War and the Kent State tragedy. The song or poem should be long enough to play through a video of about 2 minutes. In this poem or song you need to use at least 3 poetic devices discussed in literature class.
- Use images from the Ohio Memory Project and/or Ohio Pix to create your video presentation. Include at least 10 images in your video. Save the images into a folder on Netshar (drive G), then import the images into Windows Movie Maker. Next, add the images to the storyboard on Windows Movie Maker. Record your poem or song and add it to the timeline in Movie Maker.
Core Theme Spiral Questions: (Questions to be answered in complete sentences)
- Describe the setting of the photographs.
- List the people, places and things you see in the photographs.
- What clues indicate that the photographs were taken on a college campus?
- For what purpose are these students gathered?
- Who are the armed men in the photograph? For what purpose are they gathered?
- Describe what actions took place in these photographs.
- What does this photograph tell us about the popularity of the Vietnam War in the United States in 1970?
- How did the campus protests and the anti-war movement intensify class conflict in the United States?
- What impact did the anti-war movement have on U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
- History 9-10, Benchmark F: Identify major historical patterns in the domestic affairs of the United States during the 20th century and explain their significance.
- Indicator: Grade 10, GLI 13. Trace social unrest, protest and change in the United States including: a. Antiwar protest during the Vietnam War; b. The counterculture movement.
- Indicator: Grade 10, GLI 14. Analyze the origins, major developments, controversies and consequences of the civil rights movement with emphasis on: b. Changes in goals and tactics of leading civil rights advocates and organizations.
- Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities 9-10, Benchmark A: Analyze ways people achieve governmental change, including political action, social protest and revolution.
- Indicator: Grade 10, GLI 2. Explain how civil disobedience differs from other forms of dissent and evaluate its application and consequences including: c. Student protests during the Vietnam War.