2. Vietnam War: Videos and activities
On this page you will find some suggestions and links to videos that can be used as well as teacher notes with suggestions as to how the videos can be used with students. Questions for some of the videos are also on separate worksheets that can be handed out to students. There are many, many videos on the internet for Vietnam and these are just some examples of our favourite ones.
Note that there is a series on Vietnam by Ken Burns (Sept 2017) which is fabulous and has recently been screened on PBS and BBC.
This episode on Vietnam from the CNN cold war series gives an excellent overview of the key events of the war up to 1968 with great interviews. the timings are below. Click on the eye to see questions you can set with this video.
The questions are also on a separate sheet attached below.
2 mins: Dien Bien Phu
3 mins: Ho and actions in the North
4 mins: Diem and growth of opposition
5. 30: Kennedy
6 mins: domino theory explained
6.30: actions of Communists in South Vietnam and the response of Diem's government
8 mins: immolation of Buddhist monks
10 mins: coup against Diem
11 mins: Johnson
12. 30: Gulf of Tonkin incident
14. 20: Viet Cong/NLF actions in Vietnam
17. 30: links between N Vietnam and China and USSR
18.30: Rolling thunder and decision to introduce troops
20 mins: bombing of US Embassy in Saigon and Johnson's speech on Domino Theory
25 mins Battle of Ia Drang
26 mins: difficulties faced by the US fighting in Vietnam - including Search and Destroy
29. 45: Ho Chi Minh trail
32 mins: role of USSR and China - impact of Sino-Soviet split
34 mins: impact of US casualties
35 mins: opposition in US
38.20: Tet offensive
This video also has a very good chronological overview via CBS news broadcasts. It is good also for reinforcing the fact that this was 'a television war'.
The Snow team cover the Tet Offensive in this documentary which includes the causes and effects of the war in general; some good graphics to show the bombing of Vietnam and some good emphasis on the nature of the fighting.
This video has some excellent interviews and a good overview focus on the guerilla tactics used by the VC. Start from 12 minutes 40 seconds and watch to 38 minutes.
Students could watch this video and note down
- different tactics used by the Vietcong.
- the motivations for people to join the Viet cong.
- mistakes/difficulties made by the South Vietnamese goverment and the US in dealing with the Communist threat
There are a couple of good sections on this People's Century on the impact of the war on Americans and the nature of protest.
Show sections 23; 50 to 27:45 and 32 mins to 34 mins and 41.50 to 47 mins
NB Note there is bad language used by students in places
This is an excellent video which can be shown in sections; it gives the story behind some of the iconic photographs of the war including 'napalm girl', the 1968 'execution' and the My Lai massacre photos
Each photo is shown first before the story so the video can be paused and discussed before the story is revealed.
This is an excellent overview of the war told through letters from US soldiers read by famous actors and with a backdrop of 1960s music.