Goals & Objectives

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The Second World War ‖ Pearl Harbor

Goals & Objectives

Goal: Students will understand the sequence of events leading to and during the attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the role that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had in leading the United States’ entry into WWII.
Objective: Students will evaluate the impact of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and analyze primary sources by identifying at least three major components of each primary source.

California State Content Standards

10.8 Students analyze the causes and consequences of World War II.

4.Describe the political, diplomatic, and military leaders during the war (e.g., Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Emperor Hirohito, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Douglass MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower).

6. Discuss the human costs of the war, with particular attention to the civilian and military losses in Russia, Germany, Britain, the United States, China, and Japan.

Common Core Literacy Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.


Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.


Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.


Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns.

Driving Historical Question

How was Pearl Harbor viewed from the Japanese and American perspective?

Lesson Introduction (Anticipatory Set/Hook/Accessing Prior Knowledge) ‖ Time: 7min

When students take their seats in the classroom the teacher will begin the class by introducing a photograph of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The teacher will orally ask students the following questions: What do you see? What type of scene does this look like to you? Where do you think this is? Based on this photograph do you think that the Americans were prepared for the Japanese attack? The teacher will ask students to write their thoughts in their warm up sheets and then call upon students to share their responses orally. The teacher will then present the vocabulary terms Pearl Harbor, Day of Infamy, and Isoroku Yamamoto in order to provide student with an ideas of the material that will be discussed.

Vocabulary (Content Language Development) ‖ Time:

  1. Pearl Harbor

  2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  3. Day of Infamy

  4. Isoroku Yamamoto

Vocabulary will be introduced and discussed throughout the lesson. The vocabulary words will be written in the front board in order to ensure that students are aware of the vocabulary that will be used in this lesson. Students will also be provided with a handout that includes the definitions of the vocabulary words that are introduced in the lesson so that they can reference them as the words come up and during study.

Content Delivery (Method of Instruction) ‖ Time: 20min

The teacher will introduce background information on the attack on Pearl Harbor through an analysis of a photograph of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and a brief power point presentation that introduces the topic. The power point presentation will help students familiarize themselves with the topic and help them get a sense of the type of material that they can expect to deal throughout this lesson. Furthermore, the power point will also be a point of reference that will help students as they analyze primary sources. Thus, understanding the information and concepts introduced through the analysis of the photograph and the power point will enable students to interpret and analyze the primary sources that they will grapple with later in the lesson.

Student Engagement (Critical Thinking & Student Activities) ‖ Time: 45min

Students will be split into groups of three and be handed the primary sources that they will analyze for this lesson. Groups will focus on one of the primary sources assigned to them by the teacher and be instructed to work together in order to analyze the source. The teacher will make it clear that although they are working as a group, each student is responsible for completing their own primary source worksheet. Students as a group will then orally present their primary source to the class. During their presentation groups are expected to cover the guiding questions in their worksheets as well as provide a brief summary of the primary source that they focused on. While groups are presenting students observing the presentation will follow along by filling out the section of their handout that corresponds to the primary source being presented. After all the groups have presented students will engage in a brief group discussion about the events that led to Pearl Harbor, the attack itself, and the aftermath. After students have discussed in their groups the teacher will call on a few students to share their responses.

Lesson Closure ‖ Time: 5min

At the end of the lesson students will be asked to take out a sheet of paper and write down at least two things that they learned about Pearl Harbor through the power point presentation and their analysis the primary sources. The paper in which they wrote down their responses will be their ticket out the door for the day.

Assessments (Formative & Summative)

Formative: The warm up at the beginning of the lesson in which students analyze a photograph of the bombing of Pearl Harbor would serve as a formative assessment. Student discussion and responses in group and whole class discussions will also serve as formative assessments.
Summative: The primary source worksheets would serve as a summative assessment. The primary source worksheets will be collected and graded for completion and accuracy of information. Students will then be returned their worksheets with a grade and detailed comments. The ticket out the door would also serve as a summative assessment that would enable the teacher to gauge student understanding of the information and concepts introduced in the lesson as well as areas in which students had difficulty.

Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs

Accommodations for English Learners: Providing a vocabulary terms handout will help English Learners identify the terms that will be used throughout the lesson as well as serve as a reference as they encounter the terms in the texts and in discussions. Furthermore, the use of images and political cartoons will provide English Learners with a visual representation of the material that will help them conceptualize the lesson. It would also be beneficial to provide them the primary source worksheet before the lesson so that they have more time to familiarize themselves with the sources. Engaging in group and whole class discussion will also give English Learners an opportunity to practice their speaking skills.
Accommodations for Striving Readers: The use of images and political cartoons will help striving readers by providing a visual representation of the information and concepts that they encounter as they read texts, thus engaging with the material in different ways.
Accommodations for Students with Special Needs: Being presented with the material in multiple ways will help students with special needs by providing them with multiple opportunities to understand the information and concepts in different ways. It would also help students with special needs if the primary source worksheet could be provided to them before the lesson so that they have more time to familiarize themselves with the information and concepts addressed in the primary sources. Furthermore, special accommodations will be made according to the needs of individual students.

Resources (Books, Websites, Handouts, Materials)

1. Textbook- Modern History: Patterns of Interaction. 2006 by McDougal Littell.

2. Primary sources

-Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy Speech

-Tattered U.S. Poster

-The Axis Dove Lays Its Rotten Egg political cartoon

-Fourteen Part Message excerpt

3. Primary source worksheet

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