BIE.org is a great website focused on Project Based Learning. One of the projects that caught my eye is a project called “The Vietnam Experience” http://www.hightechhigh.org/pbl/the-vietnam-experience/index.html
I liked this project a lot because it integrated both history and English while covering the ugly concept of the morality of then Vietnam War. The project is designed so that over the course of two months students will individually research a topic from the Vietnam War, next the topic will be made into a script complete with characters, setting and dialogue. The scripts will be acted out and critiqued by peers for review.
The goal is to cover major questions like: Was the conflict in Vietnam a selfish? Was it a general effort to make the world safe from Communism or something in between?
It also covers the basic concepts of play writing: What are the essential elements of effective drama? What are the fundamentals of successfully putting on a play?
It’s not just enough to know the basic history behind the Vietnam War. You have to look at it from a philosophical standpoint as well as a moral one. Added to this is the rich history of the dramatic play. When you have a situation like the Vietnam War which caused a lot of grief and embarrassment to our nation, turning the story of it into a dramatic play could be a very amazing project indeed.
Included in the project is full of resources for the students to use so that they can complete the assignment like strategy guides, character bios for inspiration, source analysis, and handouts on the elements of drama.
The entire project sounds like a very good idea. Combining history and drama is an A+ in my book because history is just one giant story. Adapting it for the stage is just a no-brainer