Compare And Contrast Korean And Vietnam War Essay

Learning Unit

LU Title: Korean and Vietnam Conflicts: Similarities and differences

Author(s):Garry Downey

Grade Level: Eighth grade

School : Case Junior High School

Topic/Subject Area: Social Studies

Address: 1237 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601


Phone/Fax: (315) 785-3870 phone

 The Korean and Vietnam wars were the most misunderstood and unpopular conflicts in American history. Students will gain better awareness for these historical events and appreciation of community members that were participants in them. This is a 15 day Unit that includes informal and formal assessments.




Compare/contrast essay (see steps in summative assessment)

Domino Theory

Cause/effect essay (see steps in extending and refining experiences) 


Biography (see steps in culminating performance) 


Interview questionnaire (see steps in culminating performance)

Cold War 


Cause/effect of Korea/Vietnam Wars 


  1.  Why did differences of ideologies create conflict in the world after 1945?
  2. In today’s American contemporary society under what circumstance(s) could differences of ideology be a reason to send troops into a violent conflict?
  3. What were the effects of the Korean War and Vietnam War on local community veterans?
  4. What were the roles local veterans played in the Korean and Vietnam Wars?

Standard 1 - History of the United States and New York


1. The study of New York and United States history requires an analysis of the development of American culture, its diversity and multicultural context, and the ways people are unified by many values, practices, and traditions.


  • explore the meaning of American culture by identifying the key ideas, beliefs, and patterns of behavior, and traditions that help define it and unite all Americans
  • interpret the ideas, values, and beliefs contained in the Declaration of Independence and the New York State Constitution and the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other important historical documents.

2. Important ideas, social and cultural values, beliefs, and traditions from New York State and United States history illustrate the connections and interactions of people and events across time and from a variety of perspectives.


  • describe the reasons for periodizing history in different ways
  • investigate key turning points in New York State and United States history and explain why these events or developments are significant
  • understand the relationship between the relative importance of United States domestic and foreign policies over time
  • analyze the role played by the United States in international politics, past and present.

3. Study about the major social, political, economic, cultural, and religious developments in New York State and United States history involves learning about the important roles and contributions of individuals and groups.


  • complete well-documented and historically accurate case studies about individuals and groups who represent different ethnic, national, and religious groups, including Native American Indians, in New York State and the United States at different times and in different locations
  • gather and organize information about the important achievements and contributions of individuals and groups living in New York State and the United States
  • describe how ordinary people and famous historic figures in the local community, State and the United States have advanced the fundamental democratic values, beliefs, and traditions expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and other important historic documents
  • classify major developments into categories such as social, political, economic, geographic, technological, scientific, cultural, or religious.

4. The skills of historical analysis include the ability to: explain the significance of historical evidence; weigh the importance, reliability, and validity of evidence; understand the concept of multiple causation; understand the importance of changing and competing interpretations of different historical developments.


  • consider the sources of historic documents, narratives, or artifacts and evaluate their reliability
  • understand how different experiences, beliefs, values, traditions, and motives cause individuals and groups to interpret historic events and issues from different perspectives
  • compare and contrast different interpretations of key events and issues in New York State and United States history and explain reasons for these different accounts
  • describe historic events through the eyes and experiences of those who were there. (Taken from National Standards for History for Grades K-4)

Standard 2 - World History


1. The study of world history requires an understanding of world cultures and civilizations, including an analysis of important ideas, social and cultural values, beliefs, and traditions. This study also examines the human condition and the connections and interactions of people across time and space and the ways different people view the same event or issue from a variety of perspectives.


  • know the social and economic characteristics, such as customs, traditions, child-rearing practices, ways of making a living, education and socialization practices, gender roles, foods, and religious and spiritual beliefs that distinguish different cultures and civilizations
  • know some important historic events and developments of past civilizations
  • interpret and analyze documents and artifacts related to significant developments and events in world history

2. Establishing timeframes, exploring different periodizations, examining themes across time and within cultures, and focusing on important turning points in world history help organize the study of world cultures and civilizations.


  • develop timelines by placing important events and developments in world history in their correct chronological order
  • measure time periods by years, decades, centuries, and millennia
  • study about major turning points in world history by investigating the causes and other factors that brought about change and the results of these changes.

3. Study of the major social, political, cultural, and religious developments in world history involves learning about the important roles and contributions of individuals and groups.


  • investigate the roles and contributions of individuals and groups in relation to key social, political, cultural, and religious practices throughout world history
  • interpret and analyze documents and artifacts related to significant developments and events in world history
  • classify historic information according to the type of activity or practice: social/cultural, political, economic, geographic, scientific, technological, and historic.

4. The skills of historical analysis include the ability to investigate differing and competing interpretations of the theories of history, hypothesize about why interpretations change over time, explain the importance of historical evidence, and understand the concepts of change and continuity over time.


  • explain the literal meaning of a historical passage or primary source document, identifying who was involved, what happened, where it happened, what events led up to these developments, and what consequences or outcomes followed (Taken from National Standards for World History)
  • analyze different interpretations of important events and themes in world history and explain the various frames of reference expressed by different historians
  • view history through the eyes of those who witnessed key events and developments in world history by analyzing their literature, diary accounts, letters, artifacts, art, music, architectural drawings, and other documents
  • investigate important events and developments in world history by posing analytical questions, selecting relevant data, distinguishing fact from opinion, hypothesizing cause-and-effect relationships, testing these hypotheses, and forming conclusions.

Standard 3 - Geography


1. Geography can be divided into six essential elements which can be used to analyze important historical, geographic, economic, and environmental questions and issues. These six elements include: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical settings (including natural resources), human systems, environment and society, and the use of geography. (Adapted from The National Geography Standards, 1994: Geography for Life)


  • map information about people, places, and environments understand the characteristics, functions, and applications of maps, globes, aerial and other photographs, satellite-produced images, and models (Taken from The National Geography Standards, 1994)
  • investigate why people and places are located where they are located and what patterns can be perceived in these locations
  • describe the relationships between people and environments and the connections between people and places.

2. Geography requires the development and application of the skills of asking and answering geographic questions; analyzing theories of geography; and acquiring, organizing, and analyzing geographic information. (Adapted from The National Geography Standards, 1994: Geography for Life)


  • formulate geographic questions and define geographic issues and problems
  • use a number of research skills (e.g., computer databases, periodicals, census reports, maps, standard reference works, interviews, surveys) to locate and gather geographic information about issues and problems (Adapted from The National Geography Standards, 1994: Geography for Life)
  • present geographic information in a variety of formats, including maps, tables, graphs, charts, diagrams, and computer-generated models
  • interpret geographic information by synthesizing data and developing conclusions and generalizations about geographic issues and problems.

Standard 4 - Economics


1. The study of economics requires an understanding of major economic concepts and systems, the principles of economic decision making, and the interdependence of economies and economic systems throughout the world.


  • explain how societies and nations attempt to satisfy their basic needs and wants by utilizing scarce capital, natural , and human resources
  • define basic economic concepts such as scarcity, supply and demand, markets, opportunity costs, resources, productivity, economic growth, and systems
  • understand how scarcity requires people and nations to make choices which involve costs and future considerations
  • understand how people in the United States and throughout the world are both producers and consumers of goods and services
  • investigate how people in the United States and throughout the world answer the three fundamental economic questions and solve basic economic problems
  • describe how traditional, command, market, and mixed economies answer the three fundamental economic questions
  • explain how nations throughout the world have joined with one another to promote economic development and growth.

2. Economics requires the development and application of the skills needed to make informed and well-reasoned economic decisions in daily and national life.


  • identify and collect economic information from standard reference works, newspapers, periodicals, computer databases, textbooks, and other primary and secondary sources
  • organize and classify economic information by distinguishing relevant from irrelevant, placing ideals in chronological order, and selecting appropriate labels for data
  • evaluate economic data by differentiating fact from opinion and identifying frames of reference
  • develop conclusions about economic issues and problems by creating broad statements which summarize findings and solutions
  • present economic information by using media and other appropriate visuals such as tables, charts, and graphs to communicate ides and conclusions.

Standard 5 - Civics, Citizenship, and Government


1. The study of civics, citizenship, and government involves learning about political systems; the purpose of government and civic life; and the differing assumptions held by people across time and place regarding power, authority, governance, and law. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)


  • analyze how the values of a nation affect the guarantee of human rights and make provisions for human needs
  • explore the rights of citizens in other parts of the hemisphere and determine how they are similar to and different from the rights of American citizens
  • analyze the sources of a nation's values as embodied in its constitution, status, and important court cases.

2. The state and federal governments established by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York embody basic civic values (such as justice, honesty, self-discipline, due process, equality, majority rule with respect for minority rights, and respect for self, others, and property), principles, and practices and establish a of system shared and limited government. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)


  • understand how civic values reflected in United States and New York State Constitutions have been implemented through laws and practices
  • understand that the New York State Constitution, along with a number of other documents, served as a model for the development of the United States Constitution
  • compare and contrast the development and evolution of the constitutions of the United States and New York State
  • define federalism and describe the powers granted the national and state governments by the United States Constitution
  • value the principles, ideals, and core values of the American democratic system based upon the premises of human dignity, liberty, justice, and equality
  • understand how the United States and New York State Constitutions support majority rule but also protect the rights of the minority.

3. Central to civics and citizenship is an understanding of the roles of their citizen within American constitutional democracy and the scope of a citizen's rights and responsibilities.


  • explain what citizenship means in a democratic society, how citizenship is defined in the Constitution and other laws of the land, and how the definition of citizenship has changed in the United States and New York State over time
  • understand that the American legal and political systems guarantee and protect the rights of citizens and assume that citizens will hold and exercises certain civic values and fulfill certain civic responsibilities
  • discuss the role of an informed citizen in today's changing world
  • explain how Americans are citizens of their states and of the United States.

4. The study of civics and citizenship requires the ability to probe ideas and assumptions, ask and answer analytical questions, take a skeptical attitude toward questionable arguments, evaluate evidence, formulate rational conclusions, and develop and refine participatory skills.


  • respect the rights of others in discussions and classroom debates regardless of whether or not one agrees with their viewpoint
  • explain the role that civility plays in promoting effective citizenship in preserving democracy
  • participate in negotiation and compromise to resolve classroom, school, and community disagreements and problems.

 Students, using NUMBER HEADS, will complete a K-W-L after presentations by two Korean and Vietnam War veterans from the local community.

The guest speakers will present their experiences: prior to Service, during active duty, and after discharge.

In chronological order including acquisition experiences and extending/refining
experiences for all stated declarative and procedural knowledge.


Students will read from various sources, (text), view video Choosing Sides: I Remember Vietnam and websites.

Students will construct meaning by using the Concept Attainment graphic organizer on each war.

Students will understand cause of each war through the use of Before, During, and After Concept Attainment organizers, similar the KWL strategy.

Students will store concept of Domino Theory through the use of Symbol. This is a strategy that uses anything (person, place ,or thing) that suggests the information to be retained.


Using paragraph builders students will write topic sentence, key points, and paragraph for each conflict including the following:

  1. Causes leading to conflict
  2. Descriptions of military strategy used by communists and non-communists

3. Results of the conflict: politically and socially


Students will write a compare and contrast essay. Students will compare causes of Korea and Vietnam wars. Teachers will make informal assessment throughout writing tasks. They will communicate this in a compare and contrast essay.


Include rubric(s)

Students, in cooperative groups three to four people, will formulate veteran questionnaire using this format:

Prior knowledge of Korea and Vietnam, purpose of the conflict and its effect on local community

  • Experiences during service:

Participation in key battles, purpose and location of duty, time in service, medals honors awarded etc.

  • Post experience: "Where were you when the war ended? What was your reaction? What was the community’s reaction?"

Cooperative group questionnaire leads to class Questionnaire to be e-mailed to Veterans. Students will use information to fill out prewriting organizers. Students will write two biographies of each local veteran on completion of prewriting activities. The class will evaluate the best biographies using a rubric. The best biographies will be presented to the veterans.


Four (4) point rubric scale






Use of Information

Use accurate and relative information all the time

Use accurate and relative information most of the time

Use accurate and relative information generally

Rarely uses accurate and relative information

Organizing and planning

Well organized plan with introduction, support, and conclusion paragraphs completed

Organized plan with introduction,

support, and conclusion paragraphs mostly completed

Fairly organized plan with some paragraphs incomplete

Disorganized and limited plan with poor paragraph structure

Developing ideas

Develops ideas by support statements w/ facts all the time

Develops ideas by supporting statements w/ facts most of the time

Generally uses supporting statements w/ facts to develop ideas

Rarely uses supporting statements w/ facts to develop ideas


Use of Venn diagram

Basic internet skills

 Modifications will be implemented as per I.E.P.

 15 days:

(1) Veteran Presentations

(3-4) Reading, researching, and writing summaries of conflicts

(2) Comparing Korea and Vietnam

(2-3) Pre writing and final draft: Compare and Contrast essay

(3-5) Writing Veteran e-mail questionnaires and biographies


Choosing Sides: I Remember Vietnam: Fields of Fire Directed by Rick Smigielski. Fox Lorber Associates, 1998.


Korean and Vietnam War Comparison Essay

2108 WordsOct 28th, 20119 Pages

The Korean and Vietnam war are very similar in that both were the US's attempt to fight communism by waging war in a distant third world country. Both wars were unpopular in the US and both led to a lack of victory.
In fact, remarkable similarities exist between the Korean War and the Vietnam War; from the US support of a dictatorial and corrupt anti-communist regime to its conception of communism as a monolithic entity, under which all communist nations were necessarily allies, rather than individuals to be dealt with separately. However, though those parallels, Vietnam era policy-makers did not apply the lessons of the Korean War to the Vietnam War. Rather, they did not seem to recognize those lessons as lessons at all, and repeated in…show more content…

The Vietnam and Korean wars also differ in many aspects. The fundamental difference between the two wars was in the outcome. The United States and other democratic nations protected South Korea from the communists, while it lost to them in South Vietnam. Much of this had to do with the way in which each of these wars were fought. In Korea, communists tried to defeat the US with sheer numbers. North Korea could not defend themselves effectively, so China sent more than a million troops. General Douglas MacArthur wanted to expand the war into China. Each side fought most of their battles on open ground. This gave America the strategic advantage because of its superior air power and more technologically advanced weapons. Battles tended to be quick and fierce, resulting in an effective campaign for the Americans that drove the communists back to the original line of division. Vietnam on the other hand, resorted to guerilla warfare given its smaller fighting force and environment. The Vietnamese had previously built some underground tunnels in their resistance movements against the Japanese and then the French. They expanded on this network of tunnels and made a huge network stretching more than 250 kilometers. Most of these tunnels were invincible from American air attacks and were sometimes built right under US military stations. For months, Americans could not figure out how enemy fire came right into

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