We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War offers multiple possibilities for teachers confronting the numerous challenges of building units or courses focusing on Vietnam. By placing music and veterans’ voices at the center of the story, We Gotta Get Out of This Place connects with students who have heard the songs, but don’t know much about their historical context or their meaning for the men and women who fought the war. The historical sections of the book provide students with historical information equivalent to that in most American history textbooks, allowing teachers to adjust the presentation of contentious political issues to fit the needs of their classes.
In the “Teaching Resources” section of the wggootp.com website, we provide models for one-week and semester-long units on Vietnam organized around We Gotta Get Out of This Place. In addition to suggesting music and readings keyed to the book, we’ve included suggestions for supporting materials, including additional readings, films and web links for images and video clips. See the links in this section for access to supporting documents, including chronologies, song lists, and glossaries of Vietnam-related terminology.

Note: Teachers in schools where references to drug use or the exposure of students to realistic military language might present problems, should screen the Veteran Voices segments in advance.

  High School Unit on Vietnam

One Week Unit

  One Semester

Syllabus