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Lesson Plan: Attack on Pearl Harbor
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.7, RH.6-8.10, RI.6-8.1, RI.6-8.6.2, RI.6-8.3, SL.6-8.1, SL.6-8.2, SL.6-8.5, SL.6-8.6, WHST.6-8.2, WHST.6-8.4, WHST.6-8.7, WHST.6-8.9
• Incorporate “Attack on Pearl Harbor!” into a lesson plan on the U.S. entering World War II.
• Include the play in a lesson on the causes and effects of entering World War II.
1. BUILDING BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE(10 MINUTES)
Have students preview the play by examining the title, images, captions, and map. Discuss what they know about the people and events that appear to be the focus of the play.
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Read & Analyze
2. FULL-CLASS READING(20 MINUTES)
Assign roles and read the play aloud together. Encourage students to read their assigned roles with feeling.
3. CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS(10 MINUTES)
Have students write their answer to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion. (Answers will vary, depending on the play selected.)
Extend & Assess
4. READ A CHRONOLOGYReinforce students’ skills by assigning the skills sheet Read a Chronology: World War II. Review the answers as a class.
5. CREATE A MOVIE TRAILERDivide students into groups. Have each group imagine that the play is going to be produced as a movie. Have them write, produce, and record a trailer to promote the feature film. They may write a script, design a set, and prepare costumes for the production of their trailer.
6. CONNECTING THE PAST TO THE PRESENT: SUMMARIZINGThe play’s sidebar connects the bombing of Pearl Harbor to current events. Ask students to select a sidebar, then write a paragraph summarizing its main idea and supporting details.
7. WATCH THE VIDEOHelp students learn more about the attack on Pearl Harbor by watching the video “Pearl Harbor.”
8. PERFORM THE PLAYHave students work in groups to rehearse and perform the play. Encourage them to design a set, scenery, props, and costumes to enhance their performance.
Lower Level Before students read a play, go over words that may be unfamiliar to them, such as capsizes, infamy, infrastructure, porthole, and radar.
Higher Level Ask students to imagine that they are interviewing one of the play’s main characters. Have them write a Q&A interview with that character. The questions should focus on events highlighted in the play, and the responses should be historically accurate.
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