Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Remembering Hiroshima
Pam Smith
Time Frame:
2-5 days
Atomic Bomb
World War II

Grade Levels:
8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  1. Student will investigate and compare the personal experiences included in Rod Hersey’s book Hiroshima with the first-hand account of American Nikolay Palchikoff’s visit to Hiroshima three weeks after the bomb.
  2. Student will examine pre-bombing and post- bombing pictures of Hiroshima including depictions of buildings, people, and everyday life.
  3. Student will learn about contemporary remembrances of Hiroshima’s 1945 bombing.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

State (Florida) Standards:

  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: 910.SL.2.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: 910.RI.3.7: Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums determining which details are emphasized in each account.
  • Key Ideas and Details: 910.RI.1.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:910.RI.3.9: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge: 910.W.3.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Book Hiroshima by Rod Hersey


Full description of activity or assignment.

The student will:

  • Read and discuss the book Hiroshima (Hersey).
  • View pre-bombing and post-bombing pictures to comparison life before and after the 1945 Hiroshima bombing.
  • Complete document analysis sheet for each set of pictures before and after bombing pictures). See https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet.pdf
  • Share photographs and analyses within student’s small group.  Small group will choose one set of pictures to share with large group.

The teacher will:

  • Provide access to primary sources in computer lab or classroom.
  • Provide study and discussion opportunities of the book Hiroshima.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

Document Analysis sheet will be graded for completion with instructor comments.