Protest Voices in the Classroom: Anti-War Movement Lesson Plan

The anti-war movement during the course of the Vietnam War impacted American society and attempted to influence US foreign policy in Southeast Asia through various means. The anti-war movement began with mass demonstrations and protest actions before shifting to active resistance, including militancy in some instances. By the end of the Vietnam War, the anti-war movement led to an emergence of identity politics and a splintering of the Left in the United States. This lesson plan is designed to provide students with the context of the anti-war movement and the evolution from mass demonstrations to active resistance between 1964 and 1967. A more in-depth unit plan would tackle the issue of identity politics and the final outcome of the anti-war movement on American society. Thus, this single day lesson plan serves as a primer for later topics.
The lesson plan, which is available as a PDF download here, is aligned to the following Ohio Department of Education Social Studies Standards:

  • American History Content Statement 4: Historians analyze cause, effect, sequence and correlation in historical events, including multiple causation and long- and short-term causal relations.
  • American History Content Statement 31: Political debates focused on the extent of the role of government in the economy, environmental protection, social welfare and national security.
  • Contemporary World Issues Content Statement 6: Effective civic participation involves identifying problems or dilemmas, proposing appropriate solutions, formulating action plans, and assessing the positive and negative results of actions taken.

Other resources include multiple interviews with Dr. David Goldberg and Dr. Daniel Brustein.