Pearl Harbor Ideas Part 2

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wondering about Part 1? Well, they aren't sequential so after you finish this post you can check it out here: 

Ok, so I have you covered for Pearl Harbor Day and beyond. I shared about a bazillion book ideas in this Facebook Live broadcast. 

But what there's more!!!! Have you heard of the Jigsaw method? Well, it's a student led-learning strategy that works especially well with gifted learners. I shared an idea on Periscope for breaking down a study of Pearl Harbor into a jigsaw. I offered modification suggestions for making it an independent assignment as well. If you want a detailed description for how I used the jigsaw strategy read this post: 

Here are 5 sub-topics you could use:

Hawaii clip art from Zip-e-Dee-Do-Dah Designs

Here are links to some of the sites I mentioned: 

  2. (sign up for a free account)
  3. (beware of ads)
  4. (there are three articles, one from the Japanese perspective)
  5.  (Paid digital download of Readers' theatres)

And here's one I just found so didn't mention!! 

Pearl Harbor Day Resources

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 7th marks the anniversary of one of the most tragic days in America's history. On this day in 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor thus leaving America no choice but to join the Allied Forces. This beautifully done tribute will leave you speechless. The song playing is "For You" by Keith Urban.

I challenge you to take 5 minutes on the anniversary to commemorate the occasion in a meaningful way. It could be as simple as students writing their feelings while watching a tribute or a moment of silence. On Periscope I shared several ideas for how you could start a lesson about Pearl Harbor. See below for an example of the Windows Notes I mentioned. 

Feel free to save this image. Contact me if you would like a PDF version!

Helpful Sites

National WWII Museum: my new favorite online gift shop also has an extensive collection of primary source documents.

 Eyewitness to History: several articles from various points of view under the WWII section

National Park Service: This link will take you to the WWII Valor in the Pacific/USS Arizona Monument.

 In a previous blog post (Six Sensational SS Sites),  I mentioned the FDR Presidential Library site. You can view an interactive timeline of every day of his presidency. Check out the diary from December 7th and December 8th, fascinating! I talked more about this site on Facebook Live! 


I hope you find some of these resources helpful. I would love to hear about how you honored the memory of those brave men and women whose lives were cut too short on that day that will indeed forever live in infamy

But wait!!! There's more!! Check out Pearl Harbor Part 2 here!!!

Easy Veterans' Day Ideas

Thursday, November 10, 2016
In my opinion every day should be Veterans' Day, but the official holiday is always technically November 11th.  It originated as Armistice Day. An armistice is an end to fighting. World War I ended at 11:00 on November 11th, 1918. The first commemoration of this event was held on the anniversary in 1919. As time went on, it was necessary to celebrate veterans of other wars so the name of the day was officially changed along with it becoming a national holiday. 

Here are some sources for more info about Veterans' Day and some activity ideas for kids:

1) I have a collection of Picture Dictionaries, which serve as study guides, in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. My Veterans Day' Picture Dictionary comes with a picture bank and puzzle! Did I mention it's free?

2) Here is a very powerful Veterans' Day Tribute video. 
You could have students respond by writing as they watch or using Windows Notes. I included a PDF version of this with my Picture Dictionary.

3) Another thing I included with the Picture Dictionary is this list of songs about life as a soldier. Make sure you listen to each song completely to make sure the lyrics are appropriate. You can easily find all of these on iTunes or probably for free on YouTube.  

I often used songs as lesson hooks. Get my free Lesson Hook Cheat Sheet by signing up here:

I would have kids listen and do a quick write or fill out the Windows Notes. You could also have kids use lyrics as a close reading passage. If you need lyrics check out sites like

4) Have kids complete reading passages/comprehension questions. If you haven't checked out, sign up immediately after reading this! It is free and a gold mine for Social Studies and Science content at a wide range of exile levels. Here is a link to a jackpot of passages. 

Another site I like is Eyewitness to History, which gives first-hand accounts of historical events. Here is an article specifically about the end of WWI.

5) You can't go wrong by writing a letter to a soldier or to veterans on Veterans' Day. Your local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) chapter is a great place to start. If you need guidance for letters this 9/11 site is great!! My go-to assignment for any patriotic holiday is having kids write about why they are glad to live in America (including the freedoms we have thanks to our Armed Forces) and draw a picture. It makes a great hallway display and a SS and Writing grade if needed;)!! 
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