The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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by summerdrum
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Teaching Social Studies Content Through a Social Justice Lens

NC SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS:3.H.2.: Use historical thinking skills to understand the context of events, people, and places.5.H.2.: Understand the role of prominent figures in shaping the United States. WH.H.8.1: Evaluate global wars in terms of how they challenged political and economic power structures and gave rise to new balances of power

On August 6th, 1945, American bombers dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an effort to end the war. Three days later, when Japan still had not surrendered, American bombers dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Over 300,000 people were killed in the nuclear attack. Was the use of the atomic weapons justified? Were these bombings considered genocide? Do we still deal with effects from the bombings today?


MAKE IT CURRENT:After researching and critically examining and discussing the atomic bombings, have students research current nuclear weapons. How much money is being spent on their development? Are there any threats for their use? Have students develop projects that explain the danger of nuclear weapons and what can be done to prevent their use. Share the projects with other classes and with families. Reach out farther.

HOW? Students tend to learn about WWII from a very US-focused, patriotic standpoint. Teach students about the atomic bombings on Japan, but do so by introducing multiple perspectives. Read stories of Japanese survivors. Look at pictures from the attacks. Critically discuss Truman's reasoning behind his decison. Make connections to nuclear weapons today. Talk about alternatives to nuclear warfare. Encourage students to come to their own conclusions based on their own morals and beliefs.

I believe that social studies content is made relevant and exciting for students when it is taught through a lens of social justice. By examining the counternarratives of history, making connections to current events, and asking questions that require critical thinking and open discussion, students are challenged and encouraged to think of social studies as a 3-D subject with endless avenues of exploration. Students are also inspired to make a difference in their own lives and communities.



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