James Pecora

Course of Study Outline for "Vietnam: The Country and the War."

Title: Vietnam: The Country and the War.

Subject Areas: Global, United States History, English.

Topics to be Included: The Vietnam war and an exploration of modern Vietnam- from

the structure of the Government and economy to geography and culture.


Skills: Students will learn and use the following skills--

>How to read a map.

>How geographic features shape the development of a nation.

>How to close read articles. (Close reading is an essential skill at Satellite Academy.

Students are expected to identify and look up words they do not understand, underline main ideas, and summarize the article in their own words.)

>How to work in groups.

>How to write a formal, five paragraph essay.

>How to make class presentations.

>How to take notes.

>How to read and analyze a novel.


Assessments to be used: The following assessments will be used--

>Letter grades for each group based on their class presentations. Presentations will be assessed according to four areas: Organization, Knowledge of material, Facilitation of Presentation, and Visual Aids.

>Check, Check pluses, or check minuses for close readings, geography homework assignments, daily written responses to the novel,

>Letter grade for final written reaction paper on the novel.

>Letter grade for final essay on all material covered in class.


Instructional Materials:

Books and Readings--

"Vietnam and America"

"The Pentagon Papers"

Chapters from McDougal Littell's textbook "The Americans"

"Fallen Angels"

"The New Vietnamese" in Scholastic Magazine


Various materials from the Vietnamese Embassy home page.


"Hearts and Minds"

"Vietnam--Letters from the Trail"

"84 Charlie Mopic"

"Hamburger Hill"


Instructional Strategies:
First students will work in groups to create presentations on modern Vietnam. The presentations will be on six areas-- a general overview of Vietnam, two readings on the Vietnamese economy, one reading on the general history of Vietnam, and two readings on the Vietnamese government. This will coincide with in depth work on the geography of Vietnam, both in class and for homework. Following the work on modern Vietnam the class will go back in history and explore the causes of United States involvement in Indochina. The class will do a role-play set in 1954 in which they debate how best to get involved. Several readings will be assigned to support this debate. The next part of the course will examine the actual war that was fought between the United States and Vietnam. Students will do further group presentations, read a novel entitled "Fallen Angels" and watch several films and take notes on the contents. Finally, the class will write an extended essay summarizing what they have learned in the class and the lessons they believe the United States should take from this part of its history.