What Kids Need to Know About Pearl Harbor Day

For Educents.com on December 3, 2016.

President Roosevelt said December 7th would be a “day which would live in infamy.” But do your kids know why? Here’s answers to your kid’s questions about Pearl Harbor Day, historical facts to share with them, and activities to add Pearl Harbor Day to your lessons.

Answers to your Kids’ Questions about Pearl Harbor Day

Q: What happened on Pearl Harbor Day?

A: Some might call Pearl Harbor the beginning of the United State’s involvement of World War II, but Japan and the United States had been in conflict for decades. In 1941, Japanese planes attacked the American naval base in Pearl Harbor. This attack came as a surprise, killed many people, and pushed President Roosevelt to declare war on Japan.

Q: Where is Pearl Harbor?
A: Pearl Harbor is a naval base on one of the Hawaiian islands – O’ahu. At the time, Hawaii was not a state, it was a U.S. Territory.

Q: How do we recognize Pearl Harbor Day?
A: In remembrance of more than 2,000 Americans who died during the Pearl Harbor attacks, there is a memorial built on the harbor. On this day, all American flags are lowered to half staff. Many organizations hold events to honor

Q: When was the first Pearl Harbor Day?
A: In 1994, Congress designated December 7 to be Pearl Harbor Day.

Q: Do kids go to school on Pearl Harbor Day?
A: Yes, kids go to school. Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday.

Navy men place leis on the graves of those who died at Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Day for Kids
Image courtesy of History.com.

Facts About Pearl Harbor Day 

 – The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with no warning, on a Sunday morning.
– Every navy ship in Pearl Harbor was significantlly damaged during Japan’s attack. Two ships – the USS Arizona and the USS Utah – sunk into the bed of the harbor.
– Americans continued to fight in World War II for many years, and eventually dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese land in 1945.
– Some former crewmembers have chosen USS Arizona as their final resting place. More than 30 Arizona crewmen who survived Pearl Harbor have chosen the ship as their final resting place. 

Educational Activities for Veterans Day 

Looking for activities to use at home or in the classroom? We have plenty of worksheets that incorporate writing, interviewing, and war research to help you weave Pearl Harbor themes into your curriculum.

– Pearl Harbor Mini-Unit – A historical introduction to what happened on Pearl Harbor Day, including maps, a flag coloring activity, and cut-and-paste timeline. Best suited for kids ages 8 and up.
– I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor – A review of the events on and around Pearl Harbor, this one is better suited for older kids ages 11 and up.
– World War 2 Cootie Catchers – A great way for students to have fun while learning about the different historical figures, events, and terms associated with World War II.
– President Roosevelt’s Speech to Congress Cursive Copywork – This cursive copywork pack contains the speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to Congress on December 8, 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Traceable, text to copy, and blank lines are all included.
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