At the culmination of our Grade 7 integrated language arts and social studies unit on the Pacific War, students travel to Hiroshima to see the lasting effects of the war. On our first evening of the trip, students shared poetry in both English and Japanese in a candlelight ceremony that prepared us for our next day in Hiroshima. They also presented narrative poems based on interviews with family or friends about war experiences, and sang songs of peace and hope.
We also had the chance to talk to an atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha) and to tour the Peace Museum and Peace Park, giving students a deeper understanding of the ending of the war. While at the Peace Park, we worked on video projects for this study unit with the Park as our backdrop.
We enjoyed side trips to the picturesque torii gate on Miyajima and also stopped in Kyoto, allowing for plenty of opportunities to appreciate Japanese cultural heritage sites. (Dan Smith, MS Language Arts/Social Studies)