BIE.org

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

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4 thoughts on “BIE.org

  1. gosox27 says:

    Amber i was blown away at your choice and laughed to myself because you are on of the first Female’s ive ever meet to have a great interest in history! I totally agree with what everyone has has previous, and I would like to say how great of a topic like the Vietnam War is. There are so many ideas, strategies, and projects you could create off this historic period I believe your choice could really benefit a class not only for history purposes but also life.

  2. lukemeyer says:

    Amber, judging from your idea for your PBL project and this article, I would have to say that I think you will be an excellent history teacher. It seems like you are striving to get the students’ heads out of the textbook for a bit to really think and reflect on what history is all about. I think this is a perfect idea. Talk about tapping into multiple intelligences. Some kids love to act things out and tend to not only learn the most form this type of instruction, but also tend to retain a lot more by learning it this way. Nice find!

  3. stevenpierce2013 says:

    I think that this is an excellent cross content project. It’s incredible how many different topics can be covered that are standards based in both English and History. When researching a war like Vietnam, students can find a wealth of information on the philosophical and moral questions with that war. Many of those questions we still deal with today whenever the U.S. gets involved in any conflict.

  4. bmartindale2013 says:

    Amber, I definitely agree that any project that combines History and English just makes sense! I think that this project would definitely get students thinking deeply (I’m guessing it’s a high school level project because the Vietnam War is quite the topic to grapple with!). I think that this unit could lead to some very deep and rich (and perhaps controversial) conversations in the classroom, which would get students excited and engaged. I also agree with you that something as deeply emotional and morally difficult as the Vietnam War would lead to some very rich dramatic representations. This would definitely be quite the project to tackle in the classroom, so I can see why it would take two months, but that does also seem like a lot of time. I’m sure that a lot of different things are being integrated through the project though!

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