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Lesson 6: Aftermath of the Korean War: Korean Transnational Adoptions
Activity 6.1:  Aftermath of the Korean War


Students explore the ending and aftermath of the Korean War. They learn about the history of the Korean War and what war was like from the perspective of Koreans.

Memorial to the "Forgotten War" of Korea with the insignias of the United States Uniformed Services ringed around it. (Source: Wikipedia)


Activity Questions

  • What issues and events contributed to the start of the Korean War?

  • What  countries were involved in the Korean War? What were their goals for the conflict?

  • Which of these goals were accomplished? How did the Korean War end?

  • What were experiences of soldiers, civilians, and children during and after the Korean War?

​Instructional Strategies

  • To support this lesson, use the Lesson 6 Teacher's Guide and Lesson 6 Presentation found under Lesson 6.

History of the Korean War

  • Teacher introduces the Korean War by using a map to locate the Korean peninsula.

Before the Viewing:  Think, Pair, Share

  • Let student know they will view the documentary film, Memory of a Forgotten War (38 min. or the trailer which is 12 min.) NOTE: There are images of violence and disturbing stories about war in this documentary film. 

  • Before beginning the video, conduct a Think, Pair, Share for students to share ideas about what they think war is like for  northern and southern Korean soldiers, civilians, and children.  

During the Viewing

  • Use the Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War, and have students take notes on the experiences of soldiers, civilians, and children before, during, and after the war and also the specific stories told by the interviewees in the story.  

After the Viewing

  • Have students work in teams or small groups to answer the questions on the Viewing Worksheet.


  • Provide students with the following prompt and allow them five minutes to quick-write their response. Call on student volunteers to share their reflections.

    • Heebok Kim lived in a hakkobang (cardboard house) for three years, Suntae Chun did menial labor on military bases, Kee Park escaped from the north when her mother gave border guards silver spoons and chili powder, and Min Yong Lee enjoyed the candies and chewing gum given to children by GIs.

    • Write for five minutes on the following questions:

      • How were the experiences of Heebok Kim, Suntae Chun, Kee Park, and Min Yong Lee similar?  How were they different?  What do these stories and the other archival photographs and film footage tell you about the lives of civilians during the war?

      • How do you imagine you would have survived as a young person during the Korean War or similar military conflict?

  • As time permits, have students share their answers and perspectives.

​Closing the Activity

  • End class with review and discussion of the activity questions.



Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War (PDF).

YouTube Video: Memory of Forgotten War (12:35 minutes)

Memory of Forgotten War, a film by Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsay Liem, conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War (1950-53) by four Korean-American survivors. Their stories take audiences through the trajectory of the war, from extensive bombing campaigns, to the day-to-day struggle for survival and separation from family members across the DMZ. Decades later, each person reunites with relatives in North Korea, conveying beyond words the meaning of family loss. 

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