Sunday, November 30, 2008

Topic of the Month: Pearl Harbor

U.S.S. Shaw exploding during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941(National Archives, Still Picture Branch, 80-G-16871 )

Next weekend on December 7th our nation remembers the devastating attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941. This attack by a fleet of six Japanese aircraft carriers propelled the United States into World War II. My students enjoy a comparison discussion of this event and the US reaction after 9/11 and the reaction of the nation.

Another assignment to teach research skills and to learn about Pearl Harbor is to have students work together in a Wiki to generate a Webliography of sources about Pearl Harbor. Encourage students to break the sources they find into categories such as Naval History, Eye Witness Accounts, Photographs, Japanese Perspective etc…As they post sources they find, require them to also include a summary of the information at the site and any concerns they may have about the integrity of the content.

To Get students started, this day that would “live in infamy” has many wonderful resources available on the web. Here are a few:

For an eye witness account
US Naval History Website including eye witness accounts and key basic logistical information

Cool interactive map from National Geographic and numerous other resources

The National Archives Site also has many primary sources such as audio pieces of the Day of Infamy Speech

For some Critical Thinking you might also check out the Library of Congress “Man on the Street” Interviews

For more Critical Thinking consider the Japanese view of this attack. Check out this site to get started

What assignments and activities do you use to teach about this important event?

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