K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education
A pre-adolescent girl tends a toddler who sits perched in the front basket of a motorcycle parked outside a storefront in Hanoi.

A girl tends her younger brother in Hanoi. (Photograph by Margery H. Freeman. More about the photograph)

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This lesson plan is intended to introduce students to Vietnam’s geography, climate, culture, history, natural history, arts, economics, and government. Students will view a collection of documentary photographs and use these for making logical observations, drawing conclusions, and as a basis for creative writing.

Learning outcomes

Students should gain understanding of Vietnam through pictures. They will be able to recognize unique aspects of Vietnam’s history, culture, and natural resources and be better prepared for purposeful study of Vietnam from the perspective of social scientists. Finally, they will practice using documented visual history as a basis for writing historical fiction.

Teacher preparation

Classroom time required

Teachers should schedule three to four one-hour class periods for this lesson, depending upon whether or not the suggested pre-activities are used. Alternately, two block periods would suffice to cover the pre-activity and the main lesson. One half-hour period should be used for discussion and creation of rubric and self-evaluaton.

Materials/resources needed

  • paper and pencil
  • colored pens, pencils, crayons
  • computers with color monitors and internet access
  • Pre-writing planning guide (optional)

Pre-activities

You may want to use Vietnam: Educator’s Guide as an introduction to Vietnam and the multimedia format. The guide is designed to be used in conjunction with LEARN NC’s slideshows on Vietnam and Cambodia, in which each photograph is accompanied by a caption written by an anthropologist that explains what the picture depicts, puts the picture in initial context, and links interested viewers to other related pictures in the collection. Students who take this guided tour will be better prepared to carefully observe, document, and analyze the pictures and images used in the subsequent lesson.

Activities

Guided practice

Students should look at the images in LEARN NC’s multimedia collection on Vietnam. (There are 220 images in all; you could assign the first page or first few pages.) Allow time for examining these images and sharing observations. The following questions may be posed to spark curiosity, discussion, and further investigation:

  1. Which was your favorite image? Why?
  2. What inferences can you make from these images about the geography and climate of Vietnam?
  3. What inferences can you make from these images about diversity of life in Vietnam?
  4. What observations can you make about habitats and shelters?
  5. What observations can you make about modes of transportation?
  6. What bodies of water are shown?
  7. What do the images of children tell you?
  8. What do the images of women tell you?
  9. Are there any images of specific cities, buildings, or place names?

Small group practice

After students have shared their observations, direct them to click on the image “Hanoi girl tends a toddler sitting in the front basket of a motorcycle.” Ask students to examine the enlarged image and to read the text. Direct them to the accompanying credits, information about this image, and related media. Ask them to work in pairs or small groups to find the answers to these questions:

  1. When was the photograph taken?
  2. What is the location?
  3. Who was the photographer?
  4. Read the biographical information and tell one detail about the photographer.
  5. Click on one of the 3 related images and read the information about transportation, children, or the marketplace. What did you learn?
  6. Practice following links to multimedia with related tag words: childcare, children, girls, Hanoi, housing, kids, motorcycles, shops, transportation, urban life, and Vietnam
  7. Write a question you would like to find the answer to about one of these images.

When students have completed this independent or small group practice, allow class time to share results. Groups may exchange original questions for further practice in using this resource.

Independent practice

Return to the collection of images on Vietnam.

Ask students to browse through the remaining images to select one photograph for closer examination. Each student should document the link to his or her selected photograph by copying the URL.

Ask students to examine the enlarged image and to read the text accompanying their selected image. Direct them to the accompanying credits, information about this image, and related media. Ask them to find the answers to these questions:

Image questions

  1. When was the photograph taken?
  2. What is the location?
  3. Who was the photographer?
  4. Read the biographical information and tell one detail about the photographer.
    Click on one of the related images and read the information. What did you learn?
  5. Practice following links to multimedia with related tag words: childcare, children, girls, Hanoi, housing, kids, motorcycles, shops, transportation, urban life, and Vietnam.
  6. Explain why you selected this particular image.
  7. Write a question about this image.
  8. Use your imagination to write a short story about this image.

Writing assignment suggestions

  • Pretend that you are one of the people portrayed in the photograph. Create a first-person narrative voice and tell a story from that character’s perspective. You may use the format of a friendly letter, a journal entry, or a short story.
  • Tell a story about what is going on in the photograph. Include details to describe the environment, both natural and manmade. Use your imagination, but also draw from your knowledge of culture, history, and natural history to create a fictional story based on fact.

Optional: Use this pre-writing planning guide to encourage students to consider audience, purpose, and content.

See also this lesson plan from ReadWriteThink for a plot development graphic organizer.

Assessment

Students will create a rubric for self-evaluation to reflect the following objectives:

  1. Participation in information gathering
  2. Proper source documentation and data collection
  3. Completion of image questions
  4. Completion of Pre-writing Planning Guide
  5. Narration of an account such as a news story or historical episode which:
    1. creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and context.
    2. orients the reader/listener to the scene, the people, and the events.
    3. engages the reader/listener by establishing a context and creating a point of view.
    4. establishes the signficance of events.
    5. uses conventions of grammar and mechanics.

Critical vocabulary

  • document
  • image
  • source
  • tag words
  • audience
  • purpose
  • genre

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 7

        • 7.SE.1 Apply responsible behaviors when using information and technology resources. 7.SE.1.1 Apply ethical behavior (copyright, not plagiarizing, proper netiquette) when using resources. 7.SE.1.2 Apply the safety precautions necessary when using online resources...
      • Social Studies (2010)
        • 7.G.1 Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions. 7.G.1.1 Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions (e.g. natural barriers,...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: The learner will use language to express individual perspectives in response to personal, social, cultural, and historical issues.
    • Objective 1.01: Narrate an account such as a news story or historical episode which:
      • creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and context.
      • orients the reader/listener to the scene, the people, and the events.
      • engages the reader/listener by establishing a context and creating a point of view.
      • establishes the signficance of events.
    • Objective 1.02: Explore expressive materials that are read, heard, and viewed by:
      • monitoring comprehension for understanding of what is read, heard and/or viewed.
      • summarizing the characteristics of expressive works.
      • determining the importance of literary effects on the reader/viewer/listener.
      • making connections between works, self and related topics.
      • comparing and/or contrasting information.
      • drawing inferences and/or conclusions.
      • determining the main idea and/or significance of events.
      • generating a learning log or journal.
      • maintaining an annotated list of works read/viewed.
      • creating an artistic interpretation that connects self and/or society to the selection.
      • constructing and presenting book/media reviews.

Information Skills (2000)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: The learner will EXPLORE sources and formats for reading, listening, and viewing purposes.
    • Objective 1.04: Acknowledge ownership of ideas.
    • Objective 1.07: Follow acceptable use policy (AUP/IUP) for electronic resources.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 7

  • Goal 2: The learner will assess the relationship between physical environment and cultural characteristics of selected societies and regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
    • Objective 2.01: Identify key physical characteristics such as landforms, water forms, and climate and evaluate their influence on the development of cultures in selected African, Asian and Australian regions.
  • Goal 3: The learner will analyze the impact of interactions between humans and their physical environments in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
    • Objective 3.01: Identify ways in which people of selected areas in Africa, Asia, and Australia have used, altered, and adapted to their environments in order to meet their needs and evaluate the impact of their actions on the development of cultures and regions.