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Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki STATIONS: Primary & Secondary Sources

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Standards
Formats Included
  • Zip
Pages
14 Stations; 5 Page Student Worksheet; 5 Page Answer Key
$4.00
$4.00
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Description

Use this interactive activity to engage students with the controversial decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Students will view a diverse set of artifacts, including drawings, oral history interview quotes, images, statistics, and more. These items will help students examine the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons in Japan.

As they go, students will answer 2-3 questions for each station--analyzing the history of the U.S. use of atomic bombs.

ZIP FILE INCLUDES:

  • Set of 14 stations featuring a mixture of texts & images on the atomic bombings of Japan during WWII
  • Student handout with corresponding questions for each station (PDF: Preserves formatting)
  • Student handout with corresponding questions for each station (Word Doc: Editable/post-able)
  • Teacher Directions

CHECK OUT THE PREVIEW!

Stations cover:

  • U.S. air raids in Japan & the bombing of Tokyo
  • The Manhattan Project
  • President Truman's options to force Japanese surrender
  • Statistics about the use of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Experiences of bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (drawings and oral history quotes)
  • Images of the destruction caused in Hiroshima & Nagasaki
  • Experiences of crew members of the Enola Gay
  • U.S. Reactions to the atomic bombings
  • Reactions to Japanese surrender and V-J Day
  • Excerpts from the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey which questioned the necessity of the bombings
  • Foreshadowing of the Cold War nuclear arms race

These stations prompt students to thoughtfully consider the debate of whether or not the atomic bombs were justified in ending World War II. The stations expose the horrible experiences of bomb survivors, as well as the justifications from U.S. service members and government officials.

Students will answer multiple questions for each station. The activity also includes reflection questions at the end. Students will consider:

What were the compelling arguments for the use of atomic weapons in Japan?

What were the compelling arguments against the use of atomic weapons in Japan?

Possible ways to use this activity:

  1. Gallery Walk/Stations Activity (Students walk around and view the stations as if they were in a museum!)
  2. Small group/partner work (Students view a packet of the artifacts and collaborate to complete the handout.)
  3. Jigsaw (Students become experts on one or two topics and teach a small group.)
  4. Teacher-Led/Whole-Class activity (Go over the stations as a whole class.)
  5. Post electronically (Have students complete individually.)

The decision to drop atomic weapons on Japan during WWII remains controversial.

I use this gallery walk activity in my American History course to promote understanding of the topic and generate critical thinking.

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Related Resources

Hiroshima Atomic Bombing Primary Source Worksheet: Eyewitness Account w/ KEY

Japanese American Internment Camps: Artifacts Stations/Gallery Walk Activity

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Total Pages
14 Stations; 5 Page Student Worksheet; 5 Page Answer Key
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
N/A
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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

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