Your journal entries may take the form of several short journals or a few longer journals, but must fill at least three typed pages (12pt font, double-spaced). These entries are not like a formal essay; you may use first person. Use the entries to explain what questions you developed while doing your research and what you have learned about the topic.
- Follow the directions given in the activity
- Begin your research at the websites provided, then branch out if needed
- DO NOT use Wikipedia as a source
- Proofread for grammar, punctuation, and spelling
How you will do it
- Focus your research on either the legacy of the Holocaust or the U.S. decision to drop nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Complete extensive research on the broad topic using the suggested web resources as well as other relevant materials.
- Consider the impact that the chosen topic has had on our view of human nature and expectations about the future.
- After organizing your thoughts, prepare to write your journal entries by creating three questions on the topic. The questions and the journal entries should reflect your insights into the topic and conclusions about its historical impact.
- For the Holocaust issue, you might ask, “To what extent are the German people to blame for the Nazi government’s atrocities?” or “How does the experience of the Holocaust change my understanding of the human capacity to commit premeditated atrocities?” or “How does knowledge of the Holocaust affect my hope and faith in the future?”
- For the atomic weapons issue, you might ask, “If I were President Truman, would I have decided to use atomic weapons in order to defeat Japan?” (“Why or why not?”) Or you might ask, “How has the reality of nuclear weapons changed the course of history and warfare?” or “As an American citizen, what would I say about the bombings to a Japanese survivor of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?”
- Submit your questions and journal entries to your teacher.
- All thoughtful people still struggle with these questions. Be prepared to discuss how the Holocaust and the use of atomic weapons against Japan in World War II relate to the future and to current events.