Learn World War II History Study Japanese Bombing of Hawaii
Find lesson plans and activities, with multimedia, survivor stories, and prime resources for learning about the Pearl Harbor, HI bombing that took place December 7, 1941.
Studying the Pearl Harbor attack introduces children to an important part of American history. During World War Two, the United States Government had Naval warships stationed at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.
Japanese Bombing of Pearl harbor
Pearl Harbor Day is honored on December 7th every year. It commemorates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the sinking of the USS Arizona, along with other American ships. The National Geographic website offers authentic video footage of the bombing and the sinking of the USS Arizona. Lesson plan guides on the site instruct teachers to be sure that students are aware that this is real footage, and not from the Peal Harbor movie, released in recent years
Pearl Harbor Survivor Stories
Both the Discovery Education website and the National Geographic History website offer transcripts of interviews from Peal Harbor survivors and eyewitnesses. Videos are available, too, of survivor interviews and digitized versions of the original footage. Timeline slide shows and interactive flash animations are also available. This sort of multimedia approach to learning has a reputation for engaging children with short attention spans.
Writing Lesson Plans for Pearl Harbor Day
After watching the survivor stories, and learning about World War Two from the people who lived through it, have students write a note to a serviceman in the Middle East. Younger students can dictate their letters (as long as Mom is a fast typist.) Otherwise, record it and transcribe it later to print out.
Have the child color a picture at the bottom of the page to correspond with the story. Older students may also enjoy writing a newscast of the event, or a first-person narrative from the perspective of the survivors. Another idea would be to have them write a dialog between survivors at a reunion.
Pearl Harbor Day Activities
Using a globe to see the distance between Japan and Hawaii can be insightful. Discuss with students the reasons the Japanese might have wanted to stretch their boundaries. Discuss the isolation of Hawaii and look for clues in the survivor stories that tell whether or not it was difficult to get the help that was needed. Browse the internet for memorial services, statues, parks, and museums dedicated to preserving the memory of the Pearl Harbor victims.
Community Service Ideas for Pearl Harbor Day
Visit the VFW, a fraternal organization for Veterans of Foreign Wars, and listen to stories of Pearl Harbor and WW2. Make thank-you cards or baked goods for the Veterans. Create a poster to hang in the dining room. Get permission to film their stories, and present them in a workshop to local school children, or arrange to have the survivors come to speak. See if the VFW has a wish list. Is their furniture in good repair? What can you do to help make their club a better place?
Children learn so much more than history when they study the lives of people who experienced it. Pearl Harbor survivors have insights about the nature of war, technology, and history that children might not be exposed to on a daily basis. Homeschooling gives children the unique opportunity to spend a lot of time learning from reality. Unfortunately, war is a reality, and working personal accounts of Pearl Harbor Day into the lesson plan can give a child a sense of living history.