December 7 marks National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Last year, Channel One News visited Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Japan’s infamous attack on the U..S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — an event that plunged the United States into war. About 16 million Americans served in World War II, but only 620, 000 veterans are still alive today. Teach your students about the “Greatest Generation,” and learn about one teen’s nonprofit mission to preserve their stories for generations to come.
Display this image for students (click image to view large). hen ask them to work in pairs to answer the following questions:
Photograph by U.S. Navy
If you’re at least 12 years old, your generation is the millennial generation. That’s because you were born around the year 2000. Before you came Generation X. The X indicates that this generation is not known for anything in particular.
The baby boomers came before Generation X. They were born soon after World War II. The world was safe again, so families had many babies. The boomers are known for their large numbers. In the 1960s, many were hippies. Later, some became yuppies.
The Greatest Generation came before the baby boomers. Why was it great? This generation fought World War II! Before that they survived the Great Depression. The Depression was a severe economic downturn that began in 1929. Fifteen million Americans were unemployed.
Times were hard. But the Greatest Generation found ways to get by. Neighbors shared food and helped each other out. People took any job they could find. Millions of Americans rode freight trains around the country in search of work.
The Depression ended when World War II began. People found work manufacturing armaments and other supplies for the war. The Greatest Generation contributed to every aspect of the war effort. Sixteen million Americans served in the military. Hundreds of thousands died.
Back home, people grew their own food and collected metal for manufacturing. With so many men at war, factories experienced labor shortages. So millions of women went to work in defense plants. They built the machinery that helped win the war.
Rishi Sharma says World War II veterans are “walking history books.” Write a new chapter for your school’s history textbook about the Greatest Generation. Include relevant information from the videos, slideshow and your own ideas to complete your response.
Direct students to the National Archives website. Have students listen to an excerpt of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “Day of Infamy” speech.
Then, have them read the primary source document of President Roosevelt’s typed pages with handwritten edits.
If pages are not easily legible for some students, they can read the speech here (PDF).
Then answer the following questions:
Ask students the following question and have them share their thoughts on an exit ticket:
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