Robert Goldberg Lesson plan improved

​Adolescent Program Lesson Plan


Your Name: Robert Goldberg


​Unit Name:

​War Crimes in WWII

​Course Name:

​Japanese War Crimes in WWII

​Lesson Number:


​Length of Lesson:

​45 minutes


What standard(s) are most relevant to the learning goals?





Standard 2 is the most relevant as this unit relates to countries across the globe:

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate

their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.







Instructional Context

What do you know about your students that will inform this lesson? How does this lesson connect with previous ones? What are difficulties that you anticipate for students’ understandings of concepts and skills?



This lesson connects with lesson one. Lesson one explains what a war crime is and since this lesson address Japanese War Crimes in WWII they are most certainly connected. I except that some students may have difficulty learning about the content due to its vile nature. Furthermore some of the more innocent students may have trouble understanding why these acts were committed.



Disciplinary Rationale

What is the central focus and purpose for the content you will teach in this lesson? What are some common errors or misunderstandings of students related to the central focus of the lesson?



The central focus for this lesson will the Japanese War Crimes during WWII. The purpose of the content will be to give students an idea of what kinds of atrocities the Japanese committed while at the same time being described in a way that would not be to graphic. This of course would vary depending on the age of my students. A possible misunderstanding related to this could be that German War crimes and Japanese war crimes were the same. I would try to make sure this issue does not occur by contrasting the war crimes of the Germans and Japanese.



Theoretical Principles/and or Research-Based Practices

Identify theories, course readings, or readings from professional journals that support your learning approach.



Lev Vygotsky’s theory’s on learning though social interaction in relation to the content itself.



Academic Language

Identify the academic language function(s) in this lesson.

Identify the content language (vocabulary) that students need to know to support learning in this lesson.


Academic Language: Examine, Analyze, evaluate are the three most important for this lesson.

Content Language: War Crimes, WWII, German War Crimes (as covered in lesson 2).




The Big Ideas


Enduring Understanding

What is the course or unit-level big idea / enduring understanding that this lesson helps students to understand?

Essential Question

What is the essential question for the lesson?


Any person can commit the worst crimes imaginable given the right circumstances.

Why do people commit war crimes?





How will you determine if students understand what the lesson’s essential question and objectives intend for them to understand?


Learning Goals/ Objectives for This Lesson


Students will be able to …




How will you determine if these lesson goals and objectives have been met?


Specify the assessment, whether it is formal or informal, and any modifications so that all students can demonstrate learning.

Describe Japanese war crimes.

Calling on students seemingly at random and a mini review quiz at the start of the next day. This encourages the students to show up to class on time, so they can do the quiz and review their notes on the matter before they get to class.

Have a better understanding on why people commit war crimes.

This is goal has been built upon in previous lessons and a question relating to this topic will be the long answer question on the test in a later lesson.

Compare and contrast German war crimes with Japanese atrocities.

I break up the class into small groups of 3 or 4 and have them make a list comparing and contrasting German war crimes and Japanese atrocities. The activity would be around 10 minutes.




What materials do you as the teacher need for this lesson?


A computer with internet capabilities as I would most likely show a small video on the subject.


What materials do students need for this lesson?


Whatever tools they used to take notes such as an iPad or more traditional methods to take notes for example paper and pencil. They would also possible need a signed permeation slip depending on the age as the topic being covered is quite horrific.



Instructional Sequence


Anticipatory Set/ Hook

What will you do to engage students in developing understanding of the essential question and lesson objectives?



Who here has watched anime before. This could be a show like Pokémon, Yugioh or Naruto to name a few. Japan today is known as a cultural hub in the East with a government that can not just randomly go to war with some country like the US can. What if I told you there was time where this wasn’t the case. What if I told you around during WWII they wanted to take over the world and killed 14 million people in their quest for world domination.


Instructional Strategies and Learning Tasks


Instructional Strategy

What will the teacher do?

Learning Tasks

What will students do?

10 minutes

Introduce students to the lesson making references to Modern Japan, a generally peaceful society that spreads its culture though shows such as Pokémon, Yugioh and Naruto. Then ask what they know about modern Japan and what they think of it now compared to what it used to be. If students are unaware of Japans pass Segway to talking about the bloodthirsty cruel Japan of the 1930s and 1940s.

Answer if they have watched shows such as Pokémon and talk about what some of their perceptions of modern Japan are.

20 minutes

Lecture of the content of the lesson. This includes the Rape of Nanking as well as mass bombing campaigns and the treatment of certain women by the Japanese army during this time. Stop every few minutes to ask if anyone has questions.

Take notes and ask questions if needed when the teacher says “does anyone have questions about what we just covered.

5 minutes

Show a short video on the Rape of Nanking.

Watch the video note taking is not needed although they can if they want to. If a student is feeling unable to watch the film they will be allowed to leave although there will be a small make up assignment on the topic given at a later date.

10 minutes

Oversee group discussion and provide prompts for the students such as why did normal people commit these atrocities and compare and contrast German and Japanese war crimes. Make sure groups stay on task when needed.

Engage in group discussion and list making comparing and contrasting Japan’s war crimes and Germanys as well as why people committed these acts.



Differentiation/ Planned Support

How will you provide students access to learning based on individual and group needs?


In particular regarding students who leave during the Rape of Nanking video I will give a different assignment to that gives the facts of the event. While this is not as effective in portraying how vile the event was I do believe It will still might be needed as some of my students will not be ready to watch a video about the subject. There is also the case where the student may have been the subject of sexual assault themselves in which case the assignment given to them will focus more on the deaths of civilians then the sexual assaults. If the student came from an area where there was an ongoing war or suffered from the horrors of war themselves I would sit with them prior to the lesson and talk about what they want to do for not just this lesson but the whole unit.




Analyzing Teaching and Learning


If you taught all or part of the lesson, write an analysis of what you learned from the experience. If you did not teach it, reflect on the process of planning, what might not go as planned, and how you can make adjustments. Use the prompts below as a guide for your analysis.


1. How did you demonstrate respect, rapport with, and responsiveness to students with varied needs and backgrounds to challenge them to engage in learning?


I think having an alternative assignment planed out for students who can not watch the video on the Rape of Nanking is a good accommodation for my students. For those who grew up in a country where a genocide was ongoing or were subject to sexual assault making the watch the video would be cruel. Some students also just simply are not ready to view a video about the subject.



2. How did your instruction support learning for the whole class and students who need greater support or challenge?



I plan on asking questions 3-4 times during the lecture part of the lesson. If need be the video could be cut out of the lesson to allow for more room for questions.


3. What changes would you make to better support students learning of the central focus? Why do you think these changes would improve student learning? Use research and theory with your explanation of evidence of student learning.



Some contingencies in case something goes off plan are as follows. One if students do not have any idea what I am talking about during the intro to the lesson when I mention things such as Pokémon and Naruto move to talk about what they think the US used to be like during the 1900s. This may require saying prompts such as what were civil rights like back then. After having them compare what it was like in the USA back then to the present day. After which compare that Japan and how it was different compared to the past. If students are distracted during the lecture I shall put on a small clip that shows death and destruction during a battle between the US and Japan. This hopefully will stimulate their interest in the subject a bit after which I will focus more on the violence. That said once we get into the lesson I find it hard to imagine a student being bored with the subject. Perhaps horrified but bored would be a odd reaction to the topic. If the students are unclear about the matters being talked about in the lecture and need more time to ask questions the video on the Rape of Nanking will be cut. If students are unable to view the Rape of Nanking video either because of personal issues with viewing the content or the video does not load, then I will give them an alternative assignment focusing more on the facts of the event rather then conveying a more first hand account. I would not show a different video if the Rape of Nanking video was unavailable for some reason as I would have selected that video to be age appropriate and a random video on the topic I find might not be. If having the students meet in small groups to do performance task four is not yielding an adequate amount of work, then I shall bring the class together for a much larger discussion and forgo the list I would have had the students made.


4. If you actually taught the lesson, given what you learned from your assessment, what would be your next steps for instruction?



I did not yet teach this lesson, but I would try and get a good grasp of what the students learned during this lesson and use it to make a small mini quiz that I would have the students take the next day,




    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito


      This is very solid work (as usual).

      I suggest that in your timeline for the lesson that you develop both a hook (to capture the students' attention and interest) and a closing (to send them off clear about what they learned and what's next).

    TCH 215 Spring 2018

    TCH 215 Spring 2018

    Here is the online home for TCH 215 during Spring 2018.

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