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The Attack on Pearl Harbor


On December 7th, 1941, Imperial Japan attacked our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, drawing us completely into the Second World War. It was the worst attack upon our nation, prior to the Muslim Terrorist Attacks of 9/11/2001; over 2000 men and women were killed and over a 1000 more were injured.


For this undertaking, you will discover just how much of a surprise this attack was, whether or not it could have been prevented and to what extent it was actually “successful.” Before you begin Parts I and II, research from the following links:


Part I:

You will answer each question by reading from the link/s provided for each. If you feel that you need further information for understanding, use a metasearch such as Dogpile or Unabot, or a search engine/directory such as Google or Bing. Be sure to answer each in Google Classroom, in complete sentences.

  1. Describe the circumstances surrounding the first shot fired, by the U.S.S. Ward.
  2. Explain how Japan was able to have such a detailed plan of attack, knowing where each and every one of our ships and aircraft were.
  3. Explain to what extent the U.S. knew of the imminent attack.
  4. Explain whether or not the attack could have been thwarted.
  5. Describe how this military defeat galvanized the nation into action.

Part II:

You will write a news story about the Pearl Harbor attack as though they were living at the time; you can write a general article about the attack or one from the perspective of military or medical personnel.

RUBRIC (for Part II only):

  • Three points: Students completed their research carefully and thoroughly, wrote an informative, creative article, and were able to apply what happened at Pearl Harbor to the present day.
  • Two points: Students completed their research, wrote a competent article, and made some comparisons between what happened at Pearl Harbor and the present day.
  • One point: Students did not complete their research, wrote an article with gaps and misunderstandings, and had a hard time applying what happened at Pearl Harbor to the present day.