Lesson Plan

Refugees From Vietnam and Cambodia

This Refugees From Vietnam and Cambodia lesson plan also includes:

The United States may have pulled its troops from the Vietnam War in 1973, but the conflict was far from over for the citizens living in Asia at the time. An informative resource lets learners know about the wave of over 220,000 Southeast Asian refugees fleeing Communist rule and the reign of Pol Pot in 1979. After reading about the Geneva refugee conference and the resettlement of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees in the United States, high schoolers answer a series of discussion questions and discuss the American obligation towards refugees from the Middle East.


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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use in a US History class after a lesson about the Vietnam War, or in a social studies class when discussing refugee crises of the 20th century
  • Encourage pupils to read the passage for homework and come to class prepared for discussion questions
  • Expand one of the discussion questions into a larger persuasive or informative essay prompt
Classroom Considerations
  • Mentions the hardships Vietnamese faced when fleeing their country, including murder and rape
  • Lesson was published in 2003, so statistics and information are outdates; consider supplementing the material with more current articles about international refugees
  • Provides thought-provoking questions for discussion
  • Comes with a map of Southeast Asia for reference
  • Helpful charts illustrate the repopulation areas and poverty labels for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees
  • None