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Video Information and Comprehension Questions

Pearl Harbor

The following questions appear onscreen in the video. Feel free to integrate them into your lesson plan as needed.


 
Part I
Questions to consider before watching the video:
  • Think about what you know of the events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • As you watch the program, look for examples of how the Japanese were able to surprise the United States. Note how the military and civilians at Pearl Harbor reacted to the attack.
Questions to consider after watching the video:
  • Discuss why leaders of the U.S. Navy believed a full-scale naval attack against Pearl Harbor was impossible.
  • Considering the American position, analyze the Japanese strategy for attacking Oahu. In what ways did the Japanese take advantage of weaknesses in American defenses?
Suggested activity
  • Write a journal entry that describes the events of December 7, 1941. Write from the viewpoint of a U.S. Navy survivor.
     
    Part II
    Questions to consider before watching the video:
    • The attack on Pearl Harbor marked a turning point in American history. As you watch the program, think about the changes experienced by people living in Hawaii at the time.
    • Pay attention to how their experience during World War II was different from that of Americans living on the mainland.
    Questions to consider after watching the video:
    • The goal of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was to destroy the fleet of American aircraft carriers. Discuss why the Japanese commanders called off the third wave of attacks.
    • Do you think this was a wise tactical decision for the Japanese commanders?
    Suggested activity
  • Compose a letter that a high-ranking U.S. military official might have written to President Roosevelt on December 6. List recommendations for ways to protect American naval forces at Pearl Harbor.