Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Launches Living History Curriculum
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Committee is excited to announce a new Vietnam War educational curriculum for the state’s history and English students as part of its “living monument” extension. The curriculum was developed by the monument committee with the help of educators from Eanes ISD’s Westlake High School.
The “Living History” curriculum connects students with Texas Vietnam veterans and families to study the war through the perspectives of those who lived it. Learning activities aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills incorporate 21st Century Learning approaches to take students through a war study culminating in research that profiles Texas veterans. Quality student profiles will be published on the Living Monument.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was installed and dedicated on the northeast grounds of the statehouse in March 2014. The Texas legislature approved the tribute through legislation sponsored by Vietnam veterans Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Representative Wayne Smith.
“We wanted our monument to tell the story of Texans who served. Today’s technology provides a great opportunity to extend a living tribute that profiles individual Vietnam veterans in our state,” said Robert Floyd, the chairman of the veteran committee that built the monument. “We hope to involve Texas students in creating this archive and in learning about the war by connecting with our state’s veterans.”
The curriculum is designed for use by history or English students and includes information about the Vietnam War, studies of veteran writings and video interviews, and simulations that put students “into the boots” of Texans who served. It culminates in research projects in which students profile a Texas veteran or one of the 3,417 Texans killed or missing in the war for publication to the monument website. It also encourages teachers and veterans to connect as instructional partners in the classroom. “We hope this project helps Texas students, Vietnam veterans, and the 3,417 families as they work together to preserve these personal histories,” said Floyd.
Educators developed the curriculum around incorporation of the research and information fluency, critical thinking, communications, creativity, and digital engagement skills that form the core of “21st Century Learning” approaches. Teachers can choose from a menu of learning activities that include geography and historical background lessons, a simulation of the wartime draft, analysis of personal perspectives of veterans, and exploration of the monument’s symbols. Funding for the curriculum was made possible by a grant from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Living History Curriculum is free for educational use and includes a toolkit to help veterans connect with schools. Visit the Education section to learn more and to access the learning activities.