atomic_bomb by hedongchenchen


									Daniel Goodwin
Learn More, Teach More
Lesson Plan 2—atomic bomb

Deciding to use the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Era 8: Great Depression and World War II

Students will consider the situation and facts that determined Truman’s choice to use the
atomic bomb.
Students will create a list of pros and cons, as well as a list of alternatives to using the A-
10.02 Identify military, political, and diplomatic turning points of the war and determine
      their significance to the outcome and aftermath of the conflict.
10.03 Describe and analyze the effects of the war on American economic, social,
      political, and cultural life.

1 period with prior reading homework

1. Various primary resource documents dealing with the decision to use the atomic bomb
on Hiroshima.
2. Photographs and damage reports for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
3. Appropriate high school textbook selection on World War II and the Pacific
campaign. For example, Glencoe’s American Vision, p. 759-761, 766-771

1. Students should read the appropriate text on the Pacific campaign of World War II
prior to this lesson. Subjects such as island hopping, kamikaze pilots, Iwo Jima, and
conventional strategic bombing should be considered.
2. Ask students to pretend that they are Harry Truman, just after he became president.
Have them write a short synopsis of the situation in the Pacific.

3. Students will read selected primary source documents dealing with Truman’s decision
to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. These include the actual orders, an excerpt from
Truman’s diary, and a speech given by Truman after the first bomb was exploded.
4. Students will prepare two lists: one detailing the pros and cons of using the atomic
bomb based on Truman’s knowledge of it at the time, and one detailing the pros and cons
of a land invasion of Japan. Ask them to consider casualties, devastation, world reaction,
and time. They are to base their assumptions only on what was known about the bomb at
the time—based on the one test.

5. Students will view pictures of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as a
synopsis of the damage report for both cities.
6. Students should revise their pro/con lists based on the new information. They must
follow this up with a short paragraph detailing whether they thought the decision Truman
made was a good one and why, and if there were any other alternative. This revised list
with follow-up paragraph will be turned into the teacher.

Possible extension: students may research the additional effects of the atomic bomb such
as radiation, and discuss how this information may have led to the U.S. policy of not
using further a-bombs in war.

Check-plus: student considers numerous reasons for and against using the a-bomb vs. a
land invasion. Considerations are based on knowledge known at the time about the bomb
effects. Follow-up, regardless of student opinion, needs to be well thought out and
backed with evidence from the list or the sources, as well as offer alternatives.
Check: student considers some reasons for and against using the a-bomb vs. a land
invasion. May include some considerations that were not known at the time (radiation).
Follow-up, regardless of opinion, is backed by evidence from list or sources. May or
may not offer reasonable alternatives.
Check-minus: Student gives inaccurate reasons and/or does not properly compare the
two options. Follow-up does not back up student’s opinion or offer alternatives.

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