This is Not a Drill


Students will:

  • Reconstruct the events of Pearl Harbor using primary documents such as photographs, timelines, oral histories and survivor accounts.
  • Understand that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise and not anticipated by the United States.
  • Appreciate the need for using more than one source to reconstruct an event historically.
  • Synthesize sources to write newspaper stories describing events.

Resources / Materials

  1. Primary Documents
    • Primary documents are listed with each individual activity.
  2. Teacher Newspaper Activity Sheet
  3. Student Question Sheets

Museum Visit

Upon your visit to the Navy Museum, you and your students see the Pearl Harbor section in the World War II exhibition in the museum.

Extended Questions

1. What were the motives behind the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

2. More specifically, why did they chose Pearl Harbor? Why not Philippines, or mainland United States?

3. What did the Japanese do right after they attacked Pearl Harbor? What was there ultimate goal?

4. Do you think the Japanese accomplished their goals through the attack on Pearl Harbor?

5. Go back to the Treaty of Kanagawa. What was the relationship between the two countries like compared to 1854 when the Treaty was signed.

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