This lesson plan adheres to New York State Learning Standard 1- History of the United States and New York, Elementary Level, Key Idea #4. Additionally, this lesson plan corresponds with the National Social Studies Curriculum Standards thematic strand of science, technology, and society.
Display WWII image #75 to students. Ask students where and when the photograph was taken. Explain to students that this photograph is an icon for Americans and it was taken during WWII. Ask students what an icon is, giving examples they are familiar with to encourage higher-level thinking.
Students will be able to analyze primary sources (photographs) for evidence of American military technology during WWII. Students will debate the use of the Atomic Bomb.
Days after the Manhattan Project was tested in New Mexico, President Truman warned Japan to surrender or face, “prompt and utter destruction.” Japan did not surrender and atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This new military technology changed the world forever.
Essential Information - Analyze WWII images with class. Make sure you preview images first – some war images may be unfit for class age/maturity level. Instruct students to list evidence of technology for each image as you discuss them.
Activities - Have students report out their findings. List their answers on the front board. Answers should include airplanes, amphibious vehicles, gunboats, submarines, aircraft carriers, etc. Show students the Rosenthal image. Explain to students that this image captured the after effects of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Independant Practice - Assign students the following questions for homework: How was the atomic bomb different than any other military technology previously used? Should the atomic bomb have been used? Begin the following class by comparing student’s answers.
When viewing the images for essential information, begin the discussion by giving examples of military technology for the first few photographs.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
Students present their answers to the independent practice questions.
Monitor student work answering questions throughout.
Discuss with students the importance of atomic technology in the world today and how it affects the actions of the United States.