Pearl Harbor Day Crafts
1 December 2011
Author: Catherine Cray Gelaude
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japan surprised the United States Pacific Naval Fleet by sending war planes to attack Pearl Harbor, Oahu (Hawaii) -- which, at the time, was an American territory. Our then president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated, as he addressed our nation, -- it was, "a date which will live in infamy."
- 8 Battleships were bombed -- 3 sank, 1 capsized and the three remaining were hit by one or more bombs.
- 3 Cruisers, 3 Destroyers and 4 Auxiliary vessels were also hit by bombs, several of which were declared to be beyond repair.
- Luckily, US Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and fuel oil storage survived the attack.
Up until this time, the United States had been debating our need to be involved in the 'European crisis' -- now, we were instantly drawn in to World War II.
To commemorate Pearl Harbor, pair the historical data with a craft project -- These 'hands on' activities will help make the day meaningful for young children or elementary age students.
- Keep your explanation simple: an example may be -- Over 60 years ago, on this same day, many American sailors and soldiers died when bombs were dropped on their ships.
- Today, we will make shaker instruments and have a parade to honor them.
- Explanation similar to above -- you might consider adding: American troops were now sent to fight in a large war which was known as World War II.
- Today we will make sailor's hats and decorate them to honor the Americans who died on Pearl Harbor many years ago.
- Explanation similar to age 5 -- adding nation names/sides; Japanese pilots dropped the bombs - they were working with some people from Germany who were fighting with many other European countries. After Pearl Harbor, the United States decided to enter the war being waged in Europe - this was to preserve our right to freedom.
- Challenge the students to find out how submarines helped on December 7, 1941.
- Working together, in small groups, the students, using basic household materials, will create a simple periscope.
- Explanation similar to age 7 --adding a more detailed description of America's role in the war efforts.
- Challenge the students to find out well known or little known facts about December 7, 1941.
- Working together, in small groups, or individually the students, may wish to create an American Flag mini scrapbook. They may choose to use it to write about the facts, events or their feelings about what occurred at Pearl Harbor.