ALEX Learning Activity

Draw Me a Picture of a War Hero- Google Drawings Vietnam Research Project

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Charissa Lambert
System:Calhoun County
School:Wellborn High School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2310
Draw Me a Picture of a War Hero- Google Drawings Vietnam Research Project
Digital Tool/Resource:
Google Drawings
Web Address – URL:

The students will conduct research about an individual who served in the Vietnam War from their hometown or a city in Alabama. Using this information, the students will construct a memorial to their serviceman in Google Drawings. This activity will allow this time period to become relevant to students by asking them to research those geographically close to them. This activity serves as a beginning engagement tool to hook students in either the reading of The Things They Carried or a historic look at The Vietnam War.  

This activity is a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
25 ) Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. [W.11-12.7]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
32 ) Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. [SL.11-12.4]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
33 ) Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. [SL.11-12.5]

Learning Objectives:

The students will conduct research about a Vietnam War serviceman by gathering information directly correlated to their hometown.

The students will present their research findings by constructing a digital memorial of their serviceman.

The students will use digital media, Google Drawings, in a presentation to show understanding of research findings. 

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Students will be directed where they will be asked to work through the tab labeled Information.  Here, students should look for information regarding the Vietnam Wall, the Vietnam War, and the website in general.  Teachers should give students about ten minutes to read through this information.  After students have had time to explore the site, teachers will ask students to visit the link labeled Find a Name. Under this link, students can research fallen veterans by city and state, so it is most relevant when teachers assign students locations most geographically central to that of their students. Teachers should visit the site beforehand to determine the criteria on which they would like students to focus and how they would like to assign individual servicemen. The servicemen documented on the site have a variety of information posted. Therefore, not all students will be able to locate all the same information. Teachers should take this into consideration when giving students specific criteria. Some suggested notions for students to research would be: name, date of birth, date of death, hometown, rank, location of death, the branch of service, picture, etc. Once students have been given the criteria, students will visit the site to research their assigned serviceman. Their goal will be to create a digital memorial for their assigned serviceman using Google Drawings. Students will present their memorials to classmates. Some students might even find information relevant to locating family members of their serviceman, allowing students to share their memorial with these families as well.    

Assessment Strategies:

The students will present relevant information in a memorial produced with Google Drawings that will illustrate mastery of research skills and strategic use of digital tools. Teachers should be able to gauge mastery of research skills by the effectiveness of the Google Drawings to memorialize their serviceman with minimal additional explanation.  Presentations should be research-based while also adding touches to make the memorials more personal. 

Advanced Preparation:

Teachers should become familiar with Google Drawings before asking students to use it. This tool allows for a one-page presentation, much like that of Google Slides. Students can become intimidated by the blank template of Google Drawings, but teachers can give students templates to use that assist with students' angst. Templates can be found here:

Here is a Google Drawings tutorial that is helpful for teachers and students:

Variation Tips (optional):

Students that have a family member that appears on the Vietnam Wall may choose their family member regardless of their geographic location.  

Students could also expand upon their research and research locally for information regarding their serviceman. High school yearbooks,, and local libraries are great sources of information for students to look for additional information.  

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Google Drawings, hometown, research, The Things They Carried, Vietnam Wall, Vietnam War