Movies and movie clips help students picture historical events. Tora! Tora! Tora! is a classic film about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Made by a joint effort of American and Japanese filmmakers, the movie depicts the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a good choice for teachers because it is a lot less violent than movies made in recent years. Nevertheless, it is best for middle school and high school. Certain clips may be appropriate for older elementary school students. Elementary school teachers may want to watch the movie as enrichment, because it helps them describe to students the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Tora! Tora! Tora! is long (144 minutes), so teachers will want worksheets or projects to make sure students are active audience members. I found several good worksheets from the Internet, now gathered here in one place. One worksheet accompanies clips from the movie and gives the run time for the clips, making it easier for a teacher to cue them up.
Click here for another ClassAntics post about the attack on Pearl Harbor. This post features resources to teach about FDR’s speech, along with more general resources for teaching about the attack.
Tora! Tora! Tora! Worksheets:
Worksheet to accompany clips from Tora! Tora! Tora! The worksheet notes the clips by time, making it easier for a teacher with a DVD or Blu-ray to cue them up.
Worksheet for Tora! Tora! Tora! It’s a Word document, so you can easily make your own changes or additions to the worksheet.
Good questions for a Tora! Tora! Tora! worksheet: This is just an html file, and I wouldn’t recommend printing it like this. You could copy and paste into your own Word file, make the formatting better, and decide if you want to keep each question.
Teach With Movies’ guide to Tora! Tora! Tora! This helps you justify the movie to administration and defend your choice to parents. You could also give this as a resource if you send parents a letter about the movie.
Wikipedia page on Tora! Tora! Tora! This is also helpful for informing administrators and parents.
Awakening the Giant: National WWII Museum’s lesson plan on teaching about the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is a VERY helpful resource. It gives short reading passages, charts, primary source activities, a reference map, and a glossary.
National Park Service Resources: Remembering Pearl Harbor with readings, maps, and activities.
BBC History: Pearl Harbor: A Rude Awakening: This resource from the UK is a good complement to resources developed for American students.
The Guardian article on how to teach about the attack on Pearl Harbor: I thought it would be interesting to see how lessons on the attack taught in Britain compare to lessons written for American students.