History Lesson Vietnam

‘Best lesson’ series 1 History

Lesson 10 My lai

A_turning_point_My_Lai diff


Response 1

Of course the very idea of a best lesson is a misnomer. What works wonderfully in one context and with one class will fall flat with another, the same is true in reverse. However we have all experienced lessons when interest, engagement, curiosity and intellect combine to produce wonderful results. Those moments when it all seems to flow, new knowledge is quickly attached onto old and skills become quickly embedded. This series of posts aims to celebrate those moments. We aim to showcase lessons from across all subjects and with every age group. They may, or may not, include a brief write up from the teacher. Similarly they may or may not include materials and resources. However they, hopefully, all share one thing in common, enabling students to make excellent progress.

This was a Year 10 history lesson. The topic was the Vietnam War which comprised the coursework element of the gcse. The students had studied the background to the Vietnam War, the key stages and of US involvement and escalation of US forces after the Gulf of Tonkin. After looking at US and VC military tactics this lesson focused on My Lai. It was crucial to give students opportunities to reflect on the actions of C company in the context of the wider war. The focus was on how far My Lai could be considered a turning point, both on the frontline but more especially on the home front. Subsequent lessons would address events post My Lai with a focus on the growing support for and influence of the anti war movement in America.

I am including the lesson resources and plan. I hope they are a useful starting point for discussion.