Seventh and Eighth Graders have been working on two short stories that deal with Vietnam and PTSD. Both stories are from the Language of Literature Textbook. The Seventh Graders read a story titled "Zebra". It is about a boy nicknamed Zebra who is injured and becomes depressed. He meets a Vietnam Vet who teaches the boy in an art class and helps him feel better about his situation. The Vietnam Vet was also enriched by his experience with Zebra. Eighth Graders read a story called "Stop the Sun" about a young man trying to understand his father's behavior. Once he learns his father's experiences in Vietnam, the young man changes his views about his dad from embarrassed to proud.
We have studied the Vietnam War in class as background. We discussed the unpopularity of the war, causes, and outcome. I showed footage of the "Helicopter War" to students and played music of the times. We talked about the turbulent sixties and how the whole era changed the United States as a country. Students were prompted to write about each story and post to their blog. Make sure you check them out.