The compelling question for this inquiry calls on students to conduct an inquiry in the tradition of social history, where students are examining the activities of people who are sometimes overlooked in social studies. The question of how people responded to Pearl Harbor is not as simple as it may seem at first. Students will quickly find that the men and women “on the street” were practically unanimous in support of a declaration of war. But other questions linger. How long did people expect the war to take? Why did people think Japan took such a risk in attacking the United States? Who was to blame for what was sure to be a bloody conflict? What was the larger meaning of the war? This lesson focuses on the supporting questions listed at the introductory table, but students may be encouraged to pose their own questions as they approach these fascinating interviews.
See this Featured Inquiry version of this inquiry with just one supporting question.
This inquiry was originally developed in 2014 as part of the Library of Congress TPS “Teaching with Inquiry” project. See more HERE