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Seton Hall University College of Education & Human Services Interactive Lesson Plan Name: Joseph Perna

Date: 30 March 2012

Setting/Grade Level: 9

University Linked Course: World History

School: West Orange High School

Lesson Theme or Topic: Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Deliberation in Democracy

(DID) Learning Objectives Objectives Through an in-class Deliberation in Democracy (DID), students will be able to articulate at least two reasons either refuting or supporting the American use of two atomic bombs against Japan. Through an in-class Deliberation in Democracy (DID), students will be able to summarize one compelling reason given by the opposing side. Through completing an in-class worksheet, students will be able to formulate and support their own position about whether or not the United States should have dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Through an in-class worksheet, students will be able to assess their progress in the Deliberation in Democracy and consider why open debate is important in a democratic society. Procedure for Teaching Time Allocated: 45 minutes (Students will enter this class period having already learned about the atomic bombing of Japan. They were given readings on the event and assigned a position that either supports or refutes the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Procedure: Step 1: Introduction to the students: (about 5 minutes) Upon entering the classroom, students will be divided into debate groups to prepare for the Deliberation in Democracy (DID). They will hear a brief summary of what the class has been learning, what the class will be debating about, and a recap of how the Deliberation in Democracy (DID) process works. Step 2: Activities: (about 25 minutes) After this introduction the class will proceed into the DID activity which entails four phases: -Presentation of argument (about 8 minutes): Here students will give their most compelling reasons that support their argument. Their opposition cannot argue against them but only ask


questions. When the first side is finished, the opposition introduces their argument. Students will then take time to write down the key points of their opposition. -Reverse Positions (about 5 minutes): Here students will summarize the most opposing arguments of their opposition. Both teams must do this. -Deliberating the Question (about 10 minutes): Here students will quit their roles and debate in order to reach their own conclusion on the issue. Their groups as a whole have to reach a position on this issue. I will role play as President Truman, make the students my advisors, and have the class reach a decision on what to do. -Debriefing: (about 5 minutes): Here students will complete a worksheet that recapping the DID process. Step 3: Closing: (about 12 minutes) The class will end with a discussion based on what they learned through this activity and why deliberating in a democracy is important. A poll will be conducted to determine student opinion on this issue. Assessment: Oral or written quiz/test Observation Drawing Worksheet Peer editing/evaluation Interview/Conference

Self evaluation Learning log/Quick write/Journal Other


Deliberation in Democracy (DID): Atomic Bomb Background Reading Was the United States justified in dropping two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of WWII? On August 6, 1945, Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, took off toward the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomber arrived at the city and dropped the first nuclear bomb to be used in wartime. Seconds later, up to 90,000 Japanese lay dead or dying. The city was destroyed in a searing blast of flame and smoke, the most lethal attack with a single weapon in human history. After this display of destruction, President Truman demanded Japan’s surrender but received no reply. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped the second atomic bomb used in warfare on Nagasaki. That city too was destroyed. Days later, the Japanese government surrendered and WWII was over. Although estimates vary, nearly 250,000 Japanese became casualties to two atomic bombs. In over 60 years since those two blasts, a fierce debate over President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima has raged. Critics of his decision ask why it was necessary to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese people when, they argue, that nation was nearly defeated. On the other side of the argument are those who point out that if the bomb had not been dropped, tens of thousands of American soldiers, sailors and airmen would have been killed, as would hundreds of thousands of Japanese, in any campaign to seize the Home Island by force. As the Allies triumphed late in the war, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. He was replaced by Harry S. Truman. The new president took command of American forces that were still faced with the task of overcoming the Axis powers and successfully ending the war. By May of 1945, Germany had surrendered yet Japan, the last Axis Power, continued to fight. Truman was not long in office before he was informed about the top secret effort to construct the atom bomb known as the Manhattan Project. With Nazi Germany out of the war, the Manhattan Project and the potential use of the atomic bomb focused squarely on Japan. Yet at this point as far as the president and his military advisers were concerned, the Japanese home islands had to be invaded by the Allies to force their surrender. The burden of any such ground invasion would fall on the Americans. In May 1945,


the Russians were still not at war with Japan and although Britain would make some contribution to a potential invasion of Japan, they were exhausted by their nearly six years of struggle. American soldiers took considerable losses as they invaded islands closer to Japan. For instance, on Iwo Jima and Okinawa Japanese stubborn resistance led to high losses on both sides. Of the 22,000-plus Japanese soldiers fighting on Iwo Jima, only 216 surrendered to American forces. The vast majority fought to the death or committed ritual suicide. Thus, the projected number of casualties the US would suffer in an invasion of Japan itself was estimated at a minimum of 200,000. President Truman received further disturbing reports of the Japanese reaction to the anticipated Allied invasion of their home islands. To defend itself Japan transferred thousands of its best troops from China to Japan to deter any possibly American attack. The nation was also preparing for a guerilla war against the American invaders and planned to create a national guard to fight them. Some in Japan hoped to escape defeat by prolonging the war simply to exhaust its enemies. Some of this reasoning hoped to inflict a serious enough defeat on the Americans to make them come to terms. This was a last chance to turn the tide of a losing war for Japan. One Japanese military leader urged the nation to “fight to the very end…even if it means the deaths of one hundred million Japanese.” While the Allies met in Potsdam, Japanese officials met and agreed to fight one last battle against the US in order to drive the enemy off their shores before discussing any type of surrender. After Potsdam, Truman informed Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese people that unless Japan surrendered, the United States’ armed forces “are posed to strike the final blows on Japan.” By the summer of 1945, the US had imposed a seaborne blockade against Japan; its cities were being bombed in conventional airstrikes and advancing Marine and Army formations were dealing out defeat after defeat in the Pacific islands. Some of Truman’s advisors supported a continuation of this blockade and conventional bombing in an attempt to starve Japan into submission. However, the destruction resulting from American conventional airstrikes on Japan should not be overlooked. For instance, on March 9, 1945, bombs were dropped on Tokyo that created a devastating firestorm in the city where at least 80,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, were killed. Ultimately the number of dead in this attack rivals the attack on Hiroshima and surpasses the attack on Nagasaki. Despite such bombings, Japan’s leaders still seemed unwilling to come


to grips with the reality of their situation and seek surrender terms. Finally on August 15, after two atomic bombs were dropped on their soil, Japanese leaders surrendered. Deliberation in Democracy (DID): Atomic Bomb Positions Deliberation question: Was the United States justified in dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945? A: YES – Arguments supporting the deliberation question: 1. The atomic bombs hastened the end of the war and spared many lives in the process. At

most the Japanese suffered 250,000 casualties resulting from the two atomic bombs. Estimated casualties of Operation Downfall, the planned American invasion of Japan, range from 200,000 to as high as one million for the Americans and well into the millions for the Japanese defenders. It also ended Japan’s war in China where many were dying each month and freed numerous prisoners-of-war in Japanese labor projects often working to death under cruel conditions. 2. Compared to the use of the atomic bombs, the continued conventional bombing of Japan would have led to more deaths of Japanese civilians. The number of Japanese who died in the conventional bombing of Tokyo in 1945 rivals the number who died from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and surpasses the number of Japanese that died at Nagasaki. Without the atomic bombs, more Japanese cities would have been bombed conventionally leading to more death. Unlike conventional bombing, the atomic bomb was a shock-and-awe weapon that convinced Japan to surrender much quicker. 3. With the military in firm control of the Japanese government, that nation refused to

surrender even after the United States warned of their pending destruction. Japan followed the Bushido Code which considered surrender a serious dishonor. Many in Japan were prepared to fight to the death against the expected American invasion. Since Japan still had many soldiers, some Japanese military leaders even tried to defy Emperor Hirohito (considered a god on earth) when he finally ordered the surrender of Japan. 4. The atomic bombings were simply a part of total war. In many ways WWII was a total war where entire populations (both soldier and civilian) were mobilized to participate in the war effort. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, though containing civilians, were militarily significant targets. Considering all of their war crimes in China and the Pacific, it is clear the Japanese would have used the atomic bomb against American cities if they were able to. 5. The atomic bombs sent a clear message to Stalin and the USSR of American military

might. It showed that the United States was prepared to use such devastating force against its enemies if necessary. Stalin was as ruthless a dictator as Hitler. Without the


atomic bomb, there was no guarantee that his large armies that defeated Hitler could have potentially attacked American forces in Europe or the Pacific. Deliberation in Democracy (DID): Atomic Bomb Positions Deliberation question: Was the United States justified in dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945? B: NO – Arguments opposing the deliberation question: 1. The American atomic bombing of Japan was an immoral war crime that violated

international law. Suppose the Germans dropped atomic bombs against American cities and were still defeated by the Allies at the end of the war. Those Nazi leaders in charge of dropping the bomb would have been executed by the United States as war criminals. 2. The atomic attacks were military non-necessities. By the end of the war Japan was on its last leg and the atomic bombs alone did not cause their surrender. Their situation was hopeless since Japan was the only Axis power left standing, was under blockade, had suffered many defeats, and by August 1945 was being attacked by the USSR. 3. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan was simply unfair and an example of “State Terrorism.� Although Germany unsuccessfully tried to develop atomic weapons, Japan had no atomic program of their own. Thus, the United States was using the shock-andawe tactics of terrorists against a helpless nation with no nuclear weapons of its own. 4. The Japanese government was divided on whether or not to surrender and the United States did not give them enough warning of the atomic bomb or time to surrender. They should have first dropped the atomic bomb in Tokyo Bay to demonstrate its sheer destructive power to Japan without killing any of its people. Also, after dropping the first bomb on Hiroshima, President Truman should have waited longer for Japan to surrender before dropping the second bomb on Nagasaki only three days later. 5. The use of the atomic bomb against Japan was a decision with bad long-term consequences. Other countries (especially the USSR), seeing that the United States had its own atomic weapons, rushed to build their own in an arms race. This gave numerous nations incredible destructive power to threaten all of humanity. If a democracy like the United States justified using the atomic bomb, it will be much easier for any dictator to do so.


Name _____________ Period ____________ Atomic Bomb Deliberation in Democracy (DID) 1. Circle your position and briefly summarize your arguments (Group A / Group B) 1.______________________________________________________________________ 2.______________________________________________________________________ 3.______________________________________________________________________ 4.______________________________________________________________________ 5.______________________________________________________________________ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. Summarize three key points made by your opponents during the in-class deliberation 1.______________________________________________________________________ 2.______________________________________________________________________ 3.______________________________________________________________________ 3. Which of the four policies did your group suggest to President Truman? What was your group’s rationale? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _____ 4. What is your individual opinion on this issue? Is it the same as that of your group? Explain. _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _____


5. What are some reasons why deliberating this issue is important in a democracy? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ ______

Deliberation in Democracy Lesson  

Deliberation in Democracy Lesson

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