Lesson 1 Instructional Materials fact sheet “Jap…You’re Next!”

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Lesson 1 Instructional Materials


  • Jap…You’re Next!”

    • FDR signs Executive Order ordering all Japanese-Americans to evacuate the West Coast

      • Internment camps (10)

    • Relocation approx. 120,000 people, many of whom were American citizens

      • Many forced (military authorities) to leave homes and sell property

    • Traditional family structure

    • Public fear of plot among Japanese-Americans to sabotage war efforts

    • Congress awarded restitution payments to each survivor of the camps

    Rosie the Riveter”

    • About 350,000 women served in the U.S. Armed Forces

    • Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS)

      • Transported cargo, flew planes from factories to bases, freed more men to go into active duty rather than flying planes

    • Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. increased from 27% to 37%

    • By 1945, nearly 1 out of every 4 married women worked outside the home

    • Munitions industry recruited women workers

    Buy War Bonds”

    • Issued by the U.S. government

    • Known as debt securities

      • Purpose: to finance military operations during the war time

    • Despite war’s hardships, many people were purchasing war bonds

    • Emotional appeal with advertising

    • Unemployment declined

    • Rationing

      • Food, gas, clothing

      • Wanted to avoid public anger with shortages

    • Americans asked to conserve everything

    We Want You”

    • Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower named supreme commander

    • Natural resources, industrial power and large population used in order to enhance the Allied powers

    • Women working and flying planes to deliver cargo and weapons, more men able to go to active duty

    • Industry and commerce affected
    Directions: This fact sheet will give you supplemental information for your analysis part of the graphic organizer and it will help you for your final assignment (at the bottom of the this page). If there is a one next to your name, you are in charge of the discussion of descriptions. If there is a two next to your name, you are in charge of the discussion of the analysis. You both are to work together to fill out the graphic organizer. You have seven minutes for each poster. Use your time wisely.


What was life like on the home front during WWII?” Be sure to mention the following words in your note summary:

Rosie the Riveter, Japanese Americans, interment camps, propaganda, volunteer, war bonds, based on (x4).
It would be helpful to use this sentence format, “We concluded that…based on…”


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Lesson 2 Instructional Materials
Where in the World War?

Mapping the War in the Pacific

Sixty years ago, a generation of young Americans left their homes to fight a world war. That war was waged in two distant and very different places. In Europe, Americans faced hardship and danger. Terrain, weather, place names and, sometimes, ethnic ties were familiar links that provided some measures of comfort against the hardships of war.

Americans who fought the Japanese in the Pacific fought a very different kind of war. Whether in the jungles of New Guinea or on tiny islands in the central Pacific, they confronted environments and cultures with fewer reference points. Their war involved vast distances, isolation, and harsh, unfamiliar surroundings that placed special burdens on them.
Over two million young Americans went to war in the Pacific. They served in places as remote and faraway as the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Okinawa. Many struggled and died in places their families had never heard of. They waged a bloody war against a determined enemy.
Consider this: when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941, most Americans had never heard of Pearl Harbor and did not even know where it was.
Directions: Using the map provided on the back of this sheet and the Internet, locate these places. You are to complete this activity individually.

  1. Japan

  2. Tokyo

  3. China

  4. Manchuria

  5. Pearl Harbor

  6. Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)

  7. Midway Island

  8. Australia

  9. Malayan Peninsula

  10. Philippines

  11. Hong Kong

  12. Iwo Jima

  13. Okinawa

  14. Hiroshima

In 1931, the Empire of Japan (_H_) invades Manchuria (I) in order to increase its natural resources. This begins a push by Japan into mainland Asia that continues throughout the 1930’s. A decade later, Japan has been slowly pressing into China (_K_) and is prepared to make a major assault in the Pacific Theater. In order to prevent the U.S. from interfering with their plans, they stage a sneak attack at Pearl Harbor (_F_) on December 7th, 1941. Much of the United States fleet is destroyed. The Japanese are prepared to move quickly.
On December 8th, 1941, the Japanese attack the American forces in the Philippine Islands (_D_), the British holdings of Hong Kong (_L_) and Singapore, on the Malayan peninsula (_A_). The Japanese are conquering new territory rapidly while the Americans recover. Japan continues to conquer territory throughout the Pacific towards Australia (_M_). By May of 1942, the Japanese have reached the Coral Sea (_G_), where American ships are waiting for them. The battle is technically a draw, but it marks the first setback in Japan’s offensive.
In June of 1942, the Japanese send a large fleet to the island of Midway (_B_). American planes have been using this island to refuel on the long trips from California to the South Pacific. If the Japanese can take the island, they will stop these flights entirely. At the Battle of Midway, the U.S. Navy sinks four Japanese aircraft carriers, scoring a clear victory and turning the tide of the war in the Pacific. The Japanese begin losing ground.
In order to defeat Japan, American forces will have to wage a long campaign of island-hopping, slowly taking back islands the Japanese have conquered. On August 7, 1942, the 1st Marine Division lands on Guadalcanal (_J_). It will take nearly three years and many hard-fought battles for islands large and small to get U.S. forces within striking distance of Japan.
In February of 1945, 30,000 U.S. Marines land in one day on the tiny island of Iwo Jima (_C_). After 36 days of combat, the U.S. controls an airstrip within range of Japan itself. The battle costs nearly 7,000 U.S. lives and most of the 22,000-man Japanese garrison. Now, bombardment of Japanese factories and military bases can begin. Japan has lost almost all of its conquered territory. In April of 1945, more than 180,000 Americans land on the island of Okinawa (_N_) and face a Japanese army half their size. The Japanese fight to the end, losing over 110,000 soldiers.
American bombing raids have heavily damaged the home island of Japan, but Japan is unwilling to surrender and prepares to fight to the very end. In order to deal a major blow to the nation of Japan itself and force the Emperor to surrender, President Harry S. Truman authorizes the use of the atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima (_E_). On August 14, Japan surrenders.

By late 1941, about a quarter of this country was under Japanese control.

Invaders met fierce resistance, including Kamikaze attacks. The U.S. needed to seek control of this island because it was closer to Japan, which was 660 nautical miles from Japan.

This city became the site for one of the largest Japanese air and naval bases in the Pacific Theatre.

On December 7, 1941 nearly 400 Japanese aircraft attacked this naval base.

After this raid, all of the B-25 bombers had to crash land in China because the aircraft carriers were not long enough for them to land on.

The British colony of Malaya was important to the Japanese for what two resources?

By the time of this battle, the U.S. had broken Japan’s naval code, so the attack was known ahead of time.

This attack caused President Roosevelt to ask for a declaration of war.

Needed this area in order to set up air bases to launch attacks on Australia.

78,000 soldiers surrendered to the Japanese after fierce fighting on this peninsula.

This country allied itself with Japan five days after the Japanese forces easily took its capital city.

For the U.S., this region was the costliest operation of the war with American forces suffering nearly 50,000 causalities and Japanese losses, were more than twice that.

U.S. invades these islands, which is also known as Operation Flintlock.

This island chain, today known as Indonesia, was critical to Japan because of this resource.

Scavenger Hunt: War in the Pacific



Lesson 3 Instructional Materials
Two Historical Narratives
Source: Excerpts from “Three Narratives of our Humanity” by John W. Dower,

1996. The following is from a book written by a historian about how people remember wars. John W. Dower explains the two different ways that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is remembered.
Hiroshima as Victimization

Japanese still recall the war experience primarily in terms of their own victimization. For them, World War II calls to mind the deaths of family and acquaintances on distant battlefields, and, more vividly, the prolonged, systematic bombings of their cities.

If it is argued that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima was necessary to shock the Japanese to surrender, how does one justify the hasty bombing of Nagasaki only three days later, before the Japanese had time to investigate Hiroshima and formulate a response?
Hiroshima as Triumph

To most Americans, Hiroshima—the shattered, atomized, irradiated city – remains largely a symbol of triumph – marking the end of a horrendous global conflict and the effective demonstration of a weapon that has prevented another world war.

It is hard to imagine that the Japanese would have surrendered without the atomic bomb. Japanese battle plans that were in place when the bombs were dropped called for a massive, suicidal defense of the home islands, in which the imperial government would mobilize not only several million fighting men but also millions of ordinary citizens who had been trained and indoctrinated to resist to the end with primitive makeshift weapons. For Japanese to even discuss capitulation (surrender) was seditious (against the law).
Guiding Questions

  1. In 1-2 sentences each, explain the two narratives (stories) about Hiroshima.

  1. Which narrative do you agree with more? Why?

Document A: Textbook

Even before the bomb was tested, American officials began to debate how to use it. Admiral William Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, opposed using the bomb because it killed civilians indiscriminately. He believed that an economic blockade and conventional bombing would convince Japan to surrender. Secretary of War Henry Stimson wanted to warn the Japanese about the bomb while at the same time telling them that they could keep the emperor if they surrendered. Secretary of State James Byrnes, however, wanted to drop the bomb without any warning to shock Japan into surrendering. President Truman later wrote that he “regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubts that it should be used.” His advisers had warned him to expect massive casualties if the United States invaded Japan. Truman believed it was his duty as president to use every weapon available to save American lives. Source: American History Textbook, American Vision, pg. 615.

Document B: Thank God for the Atomic Bomb

My division, like most of the ones transferred from Europe was going to take part in the invasion at Honshu (an island of Japan). The people who preferred invasion to A-bombing seemed to have no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves. I have already noted what a few more days would mean to the luckless troops and sailors on the spot…. On Okinawa, only a few weeks before Hiroshima, 123,000 Japanese and Americans killed each other. War is immoral. War is cruel. Source: Paul Fussell, a World War II Soldier, Thank God for the Atom Bomb, 1990.

Document C: Stopping Russia

“[Byrnes] was concerned about Russia's postwar behavior. Russian troops had moved into Hungary and Romania, and Byrnes thought it would be very difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia.” Source: James Byrnes was one of Truman's advisors on the atomic bomb. In addition to defeating Japan, he wanted to keep the Soviet Union from expanding its influence in Asia and to limit its influence in Europe. Manhattan Project scientist Leo Szilard met with Byrnes on May 28, 1945. Leo Szilard wrote about his meeting with Byrnes in 1980.

Document D: Survivor

One of my classmates, I think his name is Fujimoto, he muttered something and pointed outside the window saying, "A B-29 is coming." He pointed outside with his finger. So I began to get up from my chair and asked him, "Where is it?" Looking in the direction that he was pointing towards, I got up on my feet, but I was not yet in an upright position when it happened. All I can remember was a pale lightening flash for two or three seconds. Then, I collapsed. I don’t know much time passed before I came to. It was awful, awful. The smoke was coming in from somewhere above the debris. Sandy dust was flying around. . . I crawled over the debris, trying to find someone who were still alive. Then, I found one of my classmates lying alive. I held him up in my arms. It is hard to tell, his skull was cracked open, his flesh was dangling out from his head. He had only one eye left, and it was looking right at me. . . . he told me to go away. I, so, was running, hands were trying to grab my ankles, they were asking me to take them along. I was only a child then. And I was horrified at so many hands trying to grab me. I was in pain, too. So all I could do was to get rid of them, it s terrible to say, but I kicked their hands away. I still feel bad about that. I went to Miyuki Bridge to get some water. At the river bank, I saw so many people collapsed there. . . I was small, so I pushed on the river along the small steps. The water was dead people. I had to push the bodies aside to drink the muddy water. We didn't know anything about radioactivity that time. I stood up in the water and so many bodies were floating away along the stream. Source: Yoshitaka Kawamoto was thirteen years old. He was in the classroom at Zakoba-cho, 0.8 kilometers away from the hypocenter. He is now working as the director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, telling visitors from all over the world what the atomic bomb did to the people of Hiroshima.

Japanese Experience Experts
You and your group are historians who specialize in Japanese history. In particular, you are very familiar with the Japanese experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

• To prepare for a discussion with a group of American experience historians, go through the Atomic Bomb Documents packet.

• As you re-read with your group, highlight or underline quotes, facts, images, information, etc. that supports the “Hiroshima as Victimization” narrative. In other words, look for information that proves that America was wrong to drop the atomic bomb.

• Record your main points in the space below.

Japanese Experience –Main Points…

American Experience Experts
You and your group are historians who specialize in American history. In particular, you are very familiar with the American experiences during WWII and President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb.

• To prepare for a discussion with a group of Japanese experience historians, go through the Atomic Bomb Documents packet.

• As you re-read with your group, highlight or underline quotes, facts, images, information, etc. that supports the “Hiroshima as Triumph” narrative. In other words, look for information that proves that America was right to drop the atomic bomb.

• Record your main points in the space below.

American Experience –Main Points…


  • Title

  • Summary of the dropping of the atomic bomb (3-5 sentences)

  • Two quotes that support or refute your argument AND explanations for each quote AND include the source

  • A picture

  • 4 facts and/or concepts relating to political, social or economic features of WWII

  • Write 2 questions that would be on the test

Directions: Your job is like a journalist. You and your group just did some investigating between two different perspectives on the dropping of the atomic bombs: Japanese and American. Choose one of these perspectives and write from this view. You must use evidence from the narratives and the historical accounts in order to support your argument on the dropping of the atomic bomb. Below is a list of requirements needed. Have fun and be creative!

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