1. Your classroom will be divided into teams of four groups with one spokesperson for each group. Each group will represent a Japanese citizen, President Truman's advisor, the Secretary of Defense, or a nuclear physicist.
2. Once you have been designated a certain role, your team will research that particular person for a week. See the chart below for a description of the roles and links to sites for your research.
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Advisor to President Harry S. Truman-Truman was president when the bomb was dropped. He was the person who made the final decision to drop it. The advisor will be representing the Commander-in-Chief and speaking in favor of his decision.
Site for Advisor to President Truman
Atomic Bomb Decision
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American Military Personnel-This person represents the military's point of view. He looks at things from a purely military perspective. Keep in mind that he is obligated to fulfill the orders of the President. While he personally may or may not have favored the decision, he has to do what is decided to be militarily necessary.
Sites for American Military Personnel
The Dropzone
Air Force Cartoon Journals
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Japanese Survivor-This person is Japanese and has survived the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Although he was fortunate enough not to have perished, he has witnessed several deaths and injuries. He does not believe that dropping the bomb was necessary, being that it caused much devastation to his homeland.
Site for Japanese Survivor
The Nagasaki A-Bomb Disaster
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Scientist for Manhattan Project- This person helped research and develop the atomic bomb and was there when it was tested in New Mexico a few years before it was actually detonated in Japan. He was excited about the scientific discoveries before the bomb, but soon realized the great implications it would have for much more serious and dangerous warfare in the future.
Site for Scientist for Manhattan Project
Invention and Discovery: The A-Bomb
3. Individually, research about your arguments and also opposing views.
4. Think of strategies you will use to support your arguments using your research material. In formulating your arguments do not take a personal bias towards the subject.
5. Once you have thoroughly discussed your role in your group, you must organize a clear team action plan. Think of yourselves as a team of lawyers, all trying to prove your case and convince the jury that your arguments are favorable. As a team your arguments must concur. Feel free to use visual aids.
6. Role-play within your group to practice debating.
7. Before the teacher asks any questions, each group will present their opening remarks (3 minutes for each group).
8. The teacher will start questioning certain groups. Each group will have 3 minutes to defend its position. Members of the team may talk quietly amongst themselves and advise their spokesperson during those 3 minutes.
9. Each team will be given a chance to speak about each question.
10. During the other groups' presentations, your team should take notes in preparation for your rebuttal.
11. At the end of the debate, your team will be allowed 3 minutes to refute previous arguments and summarize your position.

12. After the debate, you have to prepare an assignment (written or oral) on your feelings about this subject. Use your previous research materials and notes that you took during the debate as a guide. Consider these questions while preparing your assignment:
  • Now that you have completed your teamwork, how do you feel about this issue?
  • How would your arguments be different if this was an individual project?
  • Defend your point of view.

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