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New Teachers New York:
Lesson Plans by New Teachers, For New Teachers

Sadako, Hiroshima and the Atomic Bomb


What effects did the Atomic Bomb have on Japan and the world?

Instructional Objectives
Content Objectives - Students will acquire knowledge on the events of WWII leading up to the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They will learn the impact and damage of atomic weapons and the long-lasting effects of atomic weapons. They will debate the arguments for and against the United States using the Atomic Bomb.

Language Objectives - Read fiction and non-fiction pieces related to WWII and the Atomic Bomb for information and critical analysis. Organize information into an informational essay. Acquire proficiency in using the internet for research purposes.

Vocabulary Concepts
WWII vocabulary from non-fiction pieces and vocabulary extracted from fiction readings.

Created by Molly Staeheli
Location: Louis D. Brandeis High School
Grade: High School
Subject: ESL
Subject: Social Studies

About the teacher
Molly Staeheli is a 3rd year teacher of English as a second language at Louis D. Brandeis High School in Manhattan. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Molly moved to New York City in 2002 to complete an MS Ed in TESOL from City College. From 1999-2001 she lived in Nagano, Japan as an English teacher. Her interest working with international students began when she studied abroad in college. Travels around the world and an undergraduate major in psychology and communication lead her to make a career out of international relationships. In 1999 she completed an MA degree in International Mass Communication and International Education from the University of Minnesota. Whether as a teacher, administrator, student or volunteer in the US or abroad, international education will be an aspect of her career.

Do you have questions about this lesson? E-mail Molly

Procedures and Activities
The unit will last 3+ weeks and cover 3 phases related to the chronology of WWII.
Phase 1: What events of WWII lead up to the use of the Atomic Bomb?
The first week will be spent learning Internet research techniques and note-taking for research purposes. The second week will be spent on laying out the steps of writing and organizing an informational essay - Outlining, paragraph writing with topic sentences and supporting details, drafting and editing.





Phase 2 - What is an Atomic Bomb and what damage can it cause?
2 lessons will be spent with the class looking specifically at Atomic energy used as weapons and the immediate damage it can cause. 1+ lesson will be spent on the fictional story, "Hiroshima No Pika" by Toshi Maruki. It will be read as a read-aloud with students using the fictional account of August 6th and 9th, 1945 from the point of view of a child survivor. The story also introduces students to the long-term effects of Atomic weapons regarding radiation sickness. Letter writing techniques will be taught in conjunction with the piece of literature.

Phase 3 - What are the long-term effects of atomic weapons?
Students will read chapters of the book, "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes," by Eleanor Coerr, a biographical account of a young girl in Hiroshima that acquired radiation sickness years after the bombs were dropped. Activities will require journal writing where students make text-to self and text-to-text connections with the reading.

From the beginning of Phase 1, students will be introduced to Japanese students learning English in Hiroshima through the use of EPALS, an online pen-pal site that connects students internationally. This will be a place for students to discuss what they are learning with a peer that may have a different perspective of the events being studied.

Homework and Follow Up Activities
Each step in phase 1 essay writing will require students to return the next day with completed work relating to the technique learned. Letter writing and EPALS communication will also be derived from class work.

Students will be evaluated formally throughout the unit with weekly quizzes on vocabulary and basic content questions. Evaluation will also be based on a final informational essay and its process. The rubric will include an evaluation of each student's proficiency in the following essay writing techniques: Note-taking, outlining, paragraph writing with topic sentences and supporting details and editing. Non-formal evaluation will happen in journals and pen-pal writing. The content of their dialogue with the EPAL will also be evaluated through required questions to be asked in their email messaging regarding the Atomic Bomb and the Japanese students' perspective on the event.

Language Arts - Reading and Writing
1. Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions

2. Gathers and uses information for research purposes

3. Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process

4. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts

5. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

1. Uses strategies to compile information into written reports or summaries (e.g., incorporates notes into a finished product; includes simple facts, details, explanations, and examples; draws conclusions from relationships and patterns that emerge from data from different sources; uses appropriate visual aids and media)

2. Uses technology to compose work

3. Uses technology to publish work

This unit was written for low-intermediate high school English language learners. The technology proficiency of these students ranges from well developed to students who have never even used a mouse before. This may also be appropriate for middle school students in ESL programs.


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