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Kent State University Shootings Teacher Resources
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May 4, 1970. The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 Massacre, rocked the nation. Ohio National Guardsmen, called to the Kent State campus by Governor James Rhodes, fired on unarmed college students, killing four and wounding nine others. Rather than examining whether or not the National Guard should have fired on the crowd, class members consider whether the guard should have been called to the city of Kent at all. After conducting an in-depth analysis of a series of primary and secondary source documents, groups assume the identity of a student or Mayor LeRoy Satrom and provide reasons for why the Guard should or should not be called in. The class then watches the documentary, The Kent State Shootings: Dealing With Dissent and reflect on whether or not they regret the decision they made and why.
Learners examine the impact of the Kent State shootings. In this 1960's American history instructional activity, students access interviews, images, and articles regarding the shooting and its causes. Learners discuss how the shootings revealed a deep division within the United States.
Students investigate events surrounding the shootings of Vietnam War protesters on the campuses of Jackson State and Kent State. Students research the background and events leading up to the shootings of the protesters. Following a discussion, students create Powerpoint presentations of their reports.
"It was my view then, and still is, that you don't make war without knowing why." Remembering Vietnam is a powerful resource. The essential questions, the activities, the readings, the materials examined all seek to provide learners with the information Tim O'Brien refers to in The Things they Carried. The objective stance permits individuals to formulate their own opinions about the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Memorial. A must-have for an English Language Arts or Social Studies curriculum library.
The Massacre of Tlatelolco is the focus of a discussion-based instructional activity. Civil-minded learners consider the nature of student movements that have ended in violence based on over-reaction and government oppression. They discuss the social consequences of the massacre and the more current protests.
Students examine the arguments for and against the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In groups, they must assign the Vietnam War a just or unjust war using the techniques used to fight and the reasons used by the government to declare war. They present their ideas to the class making sure to support their arguments. To end the lesson, they develop viable alternates to war.
Students analyze selected pieces of art and infer how they reflect a sense of disillusionment, and/or cynicism in American society in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal. Then they identify and place cultural attitudes of recent generations of Americans within a historical context. Finally, students identify how art and/or literature and films mirrors a distrust, uneasiness, or cynicism from some Americans about how they view their government and its role.
Students read newspaper articles and watch segments on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. In groups, they discuss how each media outlet presented the material and decide which one was more productive. As a class, they discuss ways to commemorate an event in their own community of interest to them.
Readers quick-write in response to your read aloud of Nikki Giovanni's "The Beep Beep Poem." After a discussion of allusion, they identify references in the poem and analyze their effect. Parts of the resource are intended for little-used Texas Instruments hardware, but the activity works well without it. Pair with The Things They Carried.