World War II and the Atomic Bomb News Project

In 1945, the war in Europe had ceased. However, in the Pacific, a fierce battle still waged on as Japan refused to end the fighting. Japan was threatened and urged to surrender. If they chose not to surrender, there would be dire consequences for the island nation. After severe warnings, President Harry S. Truman decided to enact and utilize the atomic bomb to end the war. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the sites of the two atomic bomb drops, forever changing warfare in the world. Students will investigate a variety of primary sources to further expand their depth of knowledge on the decision to utilize the atomic bomb and its effects on the Japanese people during WWII. Students will then present their findings in a news broadcast format. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11-12 reading and content, choosing flexibly...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience....
CLE 3003.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3003.3.1
Write in a variety of modes, with particular emphasis on persuasion, for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3003.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3003.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3003.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3003.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3003.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3005.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3005.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different purposes and audiences.
CLE 3005.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well-constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3005.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3005.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3005.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3005.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3005.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
SPI 3002.1.9
Recognize a shift in either verb tense or point of view within a writing sample.
SPI 3003.1.11
Correctly choose verb forms in terms of tense, voice (i.e., active and passive), and mood for continuity.
SPI 3003.3.13
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3003.3.8
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3003.3.9
Rearrange the order of supporting paragraphs within a writing sample given a specified organizational pattern (comparison-contrast, chronological).
SPI 3003.4.3
Evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources for use in research.
SPI 3003.5.11
Identify the main claim, premise(s), evidence, or conclusion of a given argument.
SPI 3003.5.8
Determine whether a given argument employs deductive or inductive reasoning. (NOTE: NO Check for Understanding)
TSS.ELA.11-12.L.VAU.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on 11th -12th grade-level text by choosing flexibly from a...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.IKI.7
Evaluate the topic or subject in multiple diverse formats and media.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.IKI.7
Evaluate the topic, subject, and/or theme in multiple diverse formats and media, including how the version interprets the source text.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.SL.PKI.5
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze, synthesize, and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the...
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.3
Write narrative fiction or literary nonfiction to convey experiences and/or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured...
US.69
Write an opinion piece evaluating the Manhattan Project, including the rationale for using the atomic bomb to end the war.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will be able to:

  • analyze and interpret primary sources in various forms, including photographs and written text
  • collaborate within groups in a simulation activity
  • evaluate the main points of a historical event from secondary sources
  • develop group research skills
  • write an argumentative essay
Essential and guiding questions: 

By analyzing the primary and secondary sources presented, what was the immediate impact of the bombings on the Japanese people and the affected areas? How did this lead to the decision to end the war? 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Analyzing
Extension suggestions: 

Locate and view actual news footage from the 1945 bomb drops and have students compare and contrast their news broadcast versus the actual live reporters during this challenging era. There are several authentic clips on YouTube, from actual news coverage to accounts from survivors. Students should consider the following questions:

  • What key pieces of detail did you portray accurately?
  • In hindsight, how could your group improve upon your broadcast presentation?
  • Do you believe your newscast would have been well received in 1945?
  • After watching the actual broadcast and reflecting on the class presentations, which group do you believe best portrayed the actual events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Create a follow-up news report (or even a documentary clip) talking about the aftermath of the atomic bombs one year after the drop, or perhaps ten years afterwards. Incorporate long-range reflections from soldiers and civilians about the impact of the bombs, what the bombs achieved (or didn’t achieve), and how the Japanese reacted to defeat.

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS:

  • Manila folders or large brown envelopes
  • Print-outs of primary source images and texts (4 each)
  • Primary Source Analysis Tool: questions and worksheet
  • News Project Instructions & Reflections (2 pages long)
  • News Project Evaluation Rubric
  • World War II & the Atomic Bomb Essay Rubric