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Sinking the Supership

Ideas from Teachers


(Gr. 7-12)
Objective
To compare Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) with the Yamato battle (April 7, 1945).

Materials

  • "Tora! Tora! Tora!" film
  • NOVA's "Sinking the Supership" program
  • additional websites and other sources, to be determined, based on student interests and student contacts

Procedure
Introduce what was happening in the Pacific during World War II, starting with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Have students compare American strength and preparedness on December 7, 1941, vs. Japanese strength and strategy. Have students view "Tora, Tora, Tora" to gain an understanding of the magnitude of this attack and its focus.

Have students view NOVA's "Sinking the Supership" and discuss how four years changed the entire concept of what was happening in the Pacific.

Have students complete a study of World War II after this introduction, using such strategies as tabletop display, video presentation, dramatic interpretation, or research paper. Ask students to compare the Pearl Harbor attack with the Yamato attack and demonstrate how battle strategies changed over this four-year span. This is an opportunity for students to bring in their own families and what they were doing at this time (veteran interviews, home front happenings, newspaper coverage, etc.) Ask students to share their results at the end of the unit.

Assessment
Project format as described above along with a World War II mastery worksheet dealing with basic terms, concepts, and events.

Classroom Tips
I would include family history with this event. My master's thesis at St. Cloud State University dealt with the death of my uncle while attacking the Yamato. I used his flight log and other personal effects in completing my research.

Sent in by
John Haack
Volunteers of America High School and University of Minnesota Fairview Riverside Hospital
Minneapolis, MN


Teacher's Guide
Sinking the Supership
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