Oak Forest HS Students Reading Assignment Comes Alive at National Veterans Art Museum
Oak Forest High School Junior DeMarius Lawson tries on a Vietnam era flak jacket and helmet during a recent field trip to the National Veterans Art Museum while Justin Messina and Zack Pozniak look on. Students visited the museum after reading selections from the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in their American Literature class taught by Oak Forest High School teacher Jennifer Schanz.
At the museum, American Literature students explored artwork created by veterans of American conflicts,
including Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Bill Crist, a Vietnam veteran, spoke with the students about his experiences before, during, and after the war. His graphic, humorous, and heart-wrenching tales had the students’ attention and gratitude because he put a real face to the stories they read in Tim O’Brien’s novel.
When offered a refund on the admission fee, almost every student chose to donate the money to the museum. As a culminating experience, students also wrote letters to Bill Crist showing their appreciation for his presentation and for his sacrifices in service.