Ethics of Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan

This Ethics of Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan lesson plan also includes:

Was the atomic bombing of Japan ethical? After crafting a personal journal response to the question, class members are assigned a position and provided with primary source documents that prepare them to engage in a "Structured Academic Controversy." At the conclusion of the debate, individuals revisit their initial stance, and using evidence from the source material, craft a formal position paper on the question.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags


  • Carefully scaffolded
  • Strong, balanced primary source documents
  • Richly detailed plan



  • The wording of the of the essential question may sideline the debate
Common Core