Year 11

US involvement in Vietnam

I can explain the reasons why the US became more involved in Vietnam.

Year 11

US involvement in Vietnam

I can explain the reasons why the US became more involved in Vietnam.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. America’s involvement in Vietnam escalated up to 1968, with successive presidents committing more troops to the war.
  2. Support for their country’s involvement in Vietnam was initially high in America, but diminished as the war dragged on.
  3. Large-scale protests against the war in Vietnam became more and more frequent in America.

Common misconception

Americans were supportive of any war against a communist country.

Many Americans did support action against communists but an increasing number did not support the manner in which their country was fighting


  • Engagement - in this context, an engagement is a fight or battle between armed forces

  • Protest - a protest is a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something

At the start of the lesson, have students summarise their learning from each of the previous five lessons in the unit in the form of a picture or symbol and five key words. This will help consolidate their understanding of the unit as a whole.
Teacher tip


Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

What does the 'S' stand for in Johnson's BEAST approach to the war in Vietnam?
Correct Answer: Search and destroy, search and destroy, Search and Destroy, search destroy, search & destroy
Complete the sentence: Vietcong fighters were able to hide from US and ARVN troops in sophisticated systems.
Correct Answer: tunnel, Tunnel
What is meant by the term 'hotspot' in warfare?
the hottest part of someone or something
another name for a solar flare
Correct answer: a place of significant danger, activity or violence
a building with faulty heating
Complete the sentence with the correct year: The Tet Offensive began on 31st January ...
Correct Answer: 1968
Approximately how many US soldiers lost their lives during the Tet Offensive?
Correct answer: 1000
10 000
100 000
How did the Tet Offensive affect President Johnson's political career?
it made him so popular that he won the next election in a landslide
it led to Congress granting the president additional powers
it led to Congress removing some of the president's powers
Correct answer: it made him so unpopular that he decided not to stand for reelection

6 Questions

Why can it be considered unexpected that the US supported the French in their effort to regain control of French Indochina?
the US had been to war against France recently
the US had publicly stated that they wished to control French Indochina
the US didn't get involved in other countries' business after WW2
Correct answer: the US usually supported countries that tried to break away from colonial powers
Place the US presidents that were involved in Vietnam in the order in which they were in office.
1 - Truman
2 - Eisenhower
3 - Kennedy
4 - Johnson
5 - Nixon
Complete the sentence: Eisenhower's belief in the theory meant that he was willing to support Diem's corrupt government if it could prevent communism from spreading.
Correct Answer: Domino, domino
Which president authorised the use of napalm and Agent Orange in the Vietnam War?
Correct Answer: Kennedy, kennedy, President Kennedy, president kennedy, JFK
Under Johnson, how many US troops were in Vietnam by 1968?
335 000
482 000
Correct answer: 548 000
679 000
Complete the sentence: in the summer of 1967, 100 000 Vietnam War protesters took part in a demonstration dubbed the 'March to the ...'.
Correct Answer: Pentagon, pentagon

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