Pearl Harbor Lesson Plan

Pathwise Instruction Plan – (Annotated)
Jessica Bell
American History
April 10, 2010
1. Briefly describe the students in this class.
This is a 9th grade class comprised of 27 honors-level students aged 15 to 16. There are no
special needs students in this class.
2. What are your goals for the lesson? What do you want the students to learn?
Students will be shown a ten minute clip from the movie Pearl Harbor that details the
Hollywood version of the attack. They will also be read a first-hand account from Pearl
Harbor survivor George Phraner, who was aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. Students will then be
work collaboratively to research (using their text and the website how the
real account and the Hollywood account differ by examining primary sources. They will
present their information in a chart of diagram form of their choosing. Students should be
able to distinguish the real events of the Pearl Harbor bombing from the fictionalized, as well
as develop an understanding that history is often exaggerated and romanticized in popular
culture. Students will learn the importance between primary and secondary sources.
3. Why are these goals suitable for this group of students?
This activity promotes rational thinking and the dangers of history revision in the media as
well as the value of primary sources. Students will also work together, fostering cooperation.
Diagramming their findings creates a better understanding of information analysis.
4. How do these goals support the district’s curriculum, state frameworks, and/or
content standards?
History Standard Two: Students will gather, examine, and analyze historical data [Analysis].
9-12a: Students will develop and implement effective research strategies for investigating
a given historical topic.
9-12b: Students will examine and analyze primary and secondary sources in order to
differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.
History Standard Three: Students will interpret historical data
9-12a: Students will compare competing historical narratives, by contrasting different
historians' choice of questions, use and choice of sources, perspectives, beliefs, and points
of view, in order to demonstrate how these factors contribute to different interpretations.
5. How do these goals relate to broader curriculum goals in the discipline as a whole
or in other disciplines?
The students will be utilizing the internet to research reliable sources.
The students will be presenting information in a logical chart form.
The students knowledge of research methods will aid them in projects in other
6. How do you plan to engage students in the content? What will you do? What will
the students do? (include time estimates).
Mindset (3-5 minutes)
o Play an MP3 of President Roosevelt’s “Day that will live in infamy…” speech,
while circulating a draft copy of the speech for the students to follow up on.
Note that he originally had written “a day that will live in world history.” Ask
students to discuss how our memories of Pearl Harbor tie into the speech and
how it may have been different without that iconic line. Note that history is
often remembered differently by different people and sources and that it’s
important that we know the facts and not a partially-true version.
State objective or purpose of the lesson (2-3 minutes)
o Write the lesson plan on the board: Pearl Harbor movie clip; eye-witness
account; small group research and analysis
Provide Instructional Input (20 minutes)
o Explain that what we see in movies and television shows is not always an
accurate representation of history, and that we sometimes have to sift through
many sources to find the most accurate information
o Explain the difference between a primary source (eyewitnesses accounts) and
secondary source (movie, book written by historian)
o Introduce the students to and the eyewitness accounts
o Read eyewitness account from George Phraner
o Show 10 minute battle scene clip from Pearl Harbor
o Ask if students can recognize differences
Model (3 minutes)
o Assign students into groups of 3, and assign a computer station
o Explain that they are tasked with analyzing the historical accuracy of the battle
scene from Pearl Harbor with the eyewitness accounts on
o They will present their findings in comparative chart form – Venn diagram or
side by side columns
o Show examples of both charts
Check for Understanding (1 minute)
o Ask for any questions to clarify the assignment.
Guided Practice (20 minutes)
o Students will work in groups to complete the assigned task, with the
teacher moving around the room to assist as needed.
Closure Activity (3-5 minutes)
o Ask each group to present one difference in the historical and Hollywood
account, and one fact represented correctly in the movie.
7. What difficulties do students typically experience in this area, and how do you plan
to anticipate these difficulties?
The students are proficient using the internet and computers, but the instructor will have to
monitor usage to make sure that only is being accessed.
8. What instructional materials or other resources, if any, will you use?
Handout – President Roosevelt’s speech (draft)
Audio of the speech
Prentice Hall- A History of the United States, Chapter 11 pp.278-279
Pearl Harbor- film
9. How did you plan to assess student achievement of the goals? What procedures
will you use? (Attached any tests or performance tasks, with accompanying scoring
guides or rubrics.)
Students will be assessed on their ability to differentiate between the facts and fiction of the
bombing and their organization of the information in an understandable manner. The
bombing of Pearl Harbor will also be assessed in the end-of-unit exam on WWII. Students
will be graded on a scale of 1-10 points.
10. How do you plan to use the results of the assessment?
The assessment will be used to determine if students have mastered the critical thinking
and analysis portion of research that we’ve been working on throughout the year.