Vietnam War Protest Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, students learn about protest music by reading an excerpt of a text lesson. Students will then listen to Vietnam War protest music, and dissect it and its meaning through class discussion.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the principal elements of protest music
  • Identify examples of Vietnam-era protest music
  • Engage in critical discussion about song lyrics and the messages they convey


1 hour


  • Copies of the 'Protest Music' section of the 1960s Music: Artists & History lesson, one for each student
  • Audio clips of Vietnam protest songs
  • Stereo capable of playing compact disc, OR computer speakers with volume loud enough for the entire class to hear
  • Poster board
  • Arts and crafts supplies

Curriculum Standards


Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Key Vocabulary

  • hippies
  • protest song
  • Bob Dylan

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