Why did the US lose the war in Vietnam? A piece of cake?

In this lesson students focus on moving their understanding of the reasons for US defeat from simply listing and grouping, to prioritizing and linking.  They are shown a variety of revision guide models which they have to evaluate, before coming up with one of their own.  They have to work out which slices their cake would have and how big each would be.  The final part asks them to apply this way of thinking to assessing a past student’s GCSE answer.

Learning objectives

  • pupils predict what the key reasons for US defeat might using contextual knowledge of the narrative of the war
  • they appraise a variety of different revision guides and visual memory aids to see how well they explain this humiliating defeat
  • they create their own improved version, showing ability to link and prioritize
  • they improve a past student’s examination paper showing clear understanding of the mark scheme and how it might be applied

Step 1

As students come into the room ask them to sit in pairs and to use slide 2 of the PowerPoint presentation to generate as many reasons as they can from the clues as to why the USA was defeated in Vietnam.  Discuss their

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