Students have read about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In this
activity they will explore a multimedia map and time line to learn details about
the attack that led the United States into World War II.
Students will use information from the Remembering Pearl Harbor Web site to
learn about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They will navigate a multimedia
map and time line to view photos and video clips from the attack. They will
also hear audio clips of survivors' accounts of the day and read historical
background of the attack. The multimedia map provides visual information about
the naval base's geography and the locations of ships and airplanes that
were stationed there. Students will then answer four questions and apply this
information by writing a letter to President Roosevelt expressing their thoughts
about the decision to declare war on Japan.
- Students will use details to describe the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to write a letter that describes
the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Two survivors mention being surprised at the Japanese attack. One veteran
states that he didn't think the Japanese had "the nerve to come over
and attack Pearl Harbor." He didn't think they were capable of such an
attack. Another veteran states that the general feeling was that the Japanese
were too afraid to attempt an attack, and if they did, that the Americans
would be able to defeat them easily.
- The Japanese sent out midget submarines to stay submerged in the harbor
until the attack began. Then the subs would cause as much damage as possible.
Meanwhile, Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedoes planned to destroy the
Pacific Fleet from the air. The Japanese hoped to destroy the Pacific Fleet's
aircraft carriers to thwart a U.S. retaliation, but the carriers were not
in the harbor at the time of the attack.
- When some sailors abandoned ship, they had to dive into burning oil. Shrapnel
and debris were falling all around, and the entire atmosphere was chaotic
as people tried to find safety. Some sailors had to contend with their ship
listing as they tried to abandon ship, and some ended up trapped in their
- An armor-piercing bomb slammed through the deck and ignited more than a
million pounds of gunpowder. In nine minutes the Arizona sank to the
bottom of the harbor. Today a memorial has been erected above the sunken Arizona.
- Students' letters will vary.
Go To Student Web Activity