This article is written from a teacher's point of view with an educational context in which the class participates in a role play of the Korean War. The author first discusses the importance of the Korean War and talks about how it is one of the most overlooked American wars to date. She then points out the benefits of using role playing and elaborates on the technique. The author says that "role play generates student interest in the topic and allows students to physically, as well as mentally participate in their own learning".
The Role-Play Itself
Prior to engaging in the role-play, the author recommends stimulating a discussion on the concept of "war". In preparation for the lesson, the teacher should cut out and mount the script cards (found in the appendix of the article), create the role-play roles (U.N., U.S., North Korea, South Korea, etc.) and using masking tape outline the Korean peninsula on the floor of the classroom. The role-play parts that the students will be re-enacting include some historical figures such as Stalin, a KGB agent, France, General MacArthur and the Yalu River to name a few examples. The author recommends that the day of the activity, you as the teacher administer a pre-test to see what the students know about the Korean War. To actually accomplish the role-play the students should follow the directions on the cards but should not break any of the following rules:
1) Do not trade roles; roles are distributed randomly.
2) Attach your role to your chest so it can be seen.
3) When called to particpate read the card that you are given.
4) Read loudly enough so everyone can hear.
Following the role-play the author recommends administering a post-test to see what the students have learned. Furthermore, she advises to conduct a class discussion to see what they thought about the role-play experience and to see what they learned!
For any further information and for the results of the study, please see "The Korean War: A Role-Play to Remember" by Marjori M Krebs accessed through Academic Search Complete.