Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project

Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
Grenade by Alan Gratz: WWII Pacific Theater Readings, Activities, Project
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Common Core Standards
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78 MB|205 pages
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  1. This product is a comprehensive set of instructional materials for teaching Grenade by Alan Gratz. With over 125+ Common Core aligned materials, students will develop their literacy skills while deeply engaging with the novel. Plus, the fiction close reading activities, the literary analysis resourc
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World War II’s Pacific Theater often receives less attention when studying the global conflict. Yet, it played a pivotal role in the War and events in the Pacific Theater dramatically shaped the post-War global order. The readings, activities, and project provide a comprehensive set of materials to help students understand the Pacific Theater, a complex yet critical topic for helping students develop an expansive view of world history. With these resources, students will engage in a range of activities to deepen their knowledge of the events leading up to WWII, fighting in the Pacific Theater, the effects of war, and more. All the resources are aligned to Common Core State Standards and will allow students to develop essential skills, such as close-reading, critical thinking, examining perspectives, making an argument, and conducting and presenting research, among others. In the end students will not only have broadened their horizons but also own their abilities.

Nonfiction Readings: The close reading lessons develop students’ knowledge about the Pacific Theater of WWII. Each informational text includes two sets of questions – one comprehension set and one analysis set – that will develop essential skills aligned to the reading of informational texts under the Common Core State Standards. The resource also allows for differentiation and flexible implementation. After practicing these skills over the course of the unit, you can be confident your students will have mastered numerous skills, such as:

  • Citing textual evidence to support analysis of the text
  • Identifying and analyzing text features
  • Summarizing the main idea of a text with supporting details
  • Determining the meaning of words or phrases as used in the text
  • Determining author’s purpose and its effects
  • Identifying and analyzing arguments and specific claims in a text
  • Identifying and analyzing text structure and its effects

Extension Activities: The 9 extension activities take your students deeper. You know your students best. Based on their interests, the extension activities provide an avenue for your students to enhance their investigation of the Pacific Theater and demonstrate agency.

  • Addressing Offensive Language: The word “Jap” can be found in Grenade and throughout documents created during the World War II era. It is critical students understand that the word is offensive and should not be used. This activity will help them understand the term’s gravity and help prepare them to thoughtfully treat it when it is encountered.
  • Timeline & Map: A timeline is provided in each nonfiction article for students to reference. The timeline can help students place events and help them understand how individual occurrences relate to global events. The extension activity timeline is a compilation of the nonfiction articles’ timelines in its entirety.
  • Political Cartoons & U.S. Expansionism: In this activity, students will analyze political cartoons about American expansionism. Then, they will research the Philippine-American War in order to draw a cartoon from the Filipino perspective, allowing them to examine the historical tensions in the region from multiple perspectives.
  • War Ships & War Games: Students will play a game to learn about the basics of five different naval ships. It is an engaging way to build background knowledge about the names and labels students will often encounter when learning about naval warfare.
  • The Infamy Speech: For this extension activity, students will compare and contrast Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech” with his rough draft for it. This activity is a fantastic close reading exercise that will really help students see the impact of word choice on tone, argument, and theme.
  • The Pacific War in Color: In the documentary viewing, students will learn more about the island-hopping strategy of the Pacific Theater. The episodes also contain rich information about other aspects of the war that will provide a more macro view of the conflict. *Episodes not included in this resource.*
  • Breaking an Unbreakable Code: For this activity, students will work with the Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary to break codes and learn more about the lives of code talkers. Then, students will encode and decode messages with their classmates. Ultimately, they will come to understand how code talkers made valuable contributions to the war effort.
  • Image Study of the Atomic Bombings: Students will study five images of the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As they examine the images, students will think critically about the bombing’s purpose, immediate effects, and ultimate legacy.
  • Interment – Orders & Apologies: For the final extension activity, students will engage in a close reading of Executive Order 9066, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, and proposed amendments to the act. Students will analyze language to discern meaning, intent, and the values being conveyed as they consider whether government action reflects stated ideals.

Essay Choice Board: The essay choice board provides students with three different options for an essay topic that sees them synthesize the information they have learned from the nonfiction articles and activities with the novel Grenade.

Final Project: The final project sees students researching a Pacific Theater battle. Based on their research, students will create a battle report and memorial for a final exhibition. The project is methodically mapped in order for students to devise and compile various components over time and ends with them presenting a thorough and comprehensive report on their specific battle. They will create a timeline, statistics graph, analyze oral histories, analyze a primary source, create a memorial, submit a final report, and engage with the exhibition that results from their and their classmates’ work. As they do, students will be demonstrating their ability to use the skills they have developed throughout the unit, such research, writing, identifying bias, and evaluating sources, among others.

Digital Links: This resource is also technology friendly! It can be utilized in classrooms where computers or tablets are central to instruction because the resource has been adapted for digital completion. The resource includes links for students to complete the student pages in Google Slides™. For instance, students can work with the documents in Google Drive™ or via Google Classroom. With these links, you can have students complete their work online. (NOTE: Not all assignments are conducive to digital completion; however, the pages are still provided in the digital format.) All they will have to do is create a text box! There are links for every student work page, making the format friendly not only for technology but also trees.

Answer Key: The key provides potential answers for every question asked in every lesson when applicable. Of course, not all analytic questions have just one answer! Part of the strength of the analysis question is the room they leave for students to demonstrate their unique thinking and use textual evidence to support their stance. Therefore, use the answers at your discretion but know they provide a solid foundation for the type of performance that makes for quality work. 

The entire resource and its inclusive set of questions allow for multiple potential uses based on your determination about when and where it would be most helpful. All aspects of the assignments, though, are aligned to the Common Core State Standards in order for students to have ample opportunities to practice and demonstrate their knowledge across numerous, essential literary skills.

PLEASE NOTE: The page numbers listed in this resource are based on the hardcover edition ISBN: 9781338245691.

Total Pages
205 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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