Read descriptions of the Vietnamese people and setting from the book, including p. 32–34. Make an animation of a heavily populated setting like this, or a jungle guerilla warfare setting. Include the Vietnamese people and the Vietcong in their 'black pyjamas'.
War seems to create its own 'language'. Words and terms are used or adapted to suit weapons in particular. Create a database of 'Weapons and War Words' from the book. You could use 'tracer' from the'break-out box' on p. 6 as a starting point.
In places throughout the book there is an image showing the underside of a helicopter as a silhouette. What do you think this represents? You may need to do some research about the role of the helicopter in the Vietnam War. Then, visually reinterpret and represent this, as well as other symbols from this war, as silhouettes. Use Photoshop or other software, or other resources such as black paper.
'Break-out boxes' are a feature of this book. An example is on p. 25. It begins: 'From 1962, Australian advisors in Vietnam helped train South Vietnamese soldiers in jungle warfare…'
Answer these questions using examples from the book:
Consolidate and present your findings as a poster. Include one or more 'break-out boxes' as part of your poster.
After looking at the cover – title, subtitle, image – and using any knowledge of the Vietnam War that you already have, use the KWL Chart to complete the first column headed 'What I know'.
After flicking through the book and reading the focus questions, complete the second column of the KWL Chart headed 'What I want to learn'.
Discover information from the book and other sources to complete your KWL Chart.
Publish and broadcast the results of your KWL Chart as a podcast. To get started with podcasting, check out www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/podcast/index.html.
Create a tour map for people who would like to visit Vietnam today to experience the setting of the Vietnam War. Use the maps from the book at the start and p. 46, as well as current maps. Add details, such as shading to show jungle areas, and include a key or legend.
Read about the lieutenant who accidentally stepped on a 'jumping jack' mine on p. 52. He stopped it 'jumping' and exploding in the air to save his men, even though he knew he would die. Find other heroes in the book. Then find more heroes in Australia's and other countries' histories. Are there any heroes today?
Show your heroes throughout history, including those from the Vietnam War, as a Flowchart. Mark heroes from the Vietnam War with a highlighter. End the Flowchart with heroes from the present.
Brainstorming can be an individual or a collaborative process. It generates a lot of ideas and encourages creative thinking. For brainstorming to be effective, a safe and supportive classroom culture is essential, with rules, protocols or agreements for collaborative learning.
Brainstorm how heroes in the past are similar and different to those in the present. Write a speech as a joint construction summarising your classmates' opinions about this. Share this more broadly as a podcast.
To get started with podcasting, check out www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/podcast/index.html.
Who are Vietnam veterans? They have been treated in a range of ways since the war. Read in Red Haze about how they have been treated, then research other sources such as the Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia at www.vvaa.org.au.
Contact the Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia to set up an online or face-to-face interview about this issue. Other questions about the Vietnam War could be asked and an open discussion could allow the class to hear reflections and concerns about the Vietnam War from the interviewee.
Record the interview. With the permission of participants, this could be shared more broadly as a podcast.