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Remembering Pearl Harbor Virtual Viewing Party

On-Demand Event

Join Discovery Education in remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Together, students across the country will gather to watch President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to Congress at the exact moment the first bomb struck 75 years ago.




Watch President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to Congress

What is a Virtual Viewing Party?

A virtual viewing party is a shared viewing experience of the Discovery Education primary source video, Pearl Harbor Speech to the Congress of the United States.

Thousands of classrooms will simultaneously access this video, which shows portions of President Roosevelt’s speech as well as footage of Americans gathering listen to the speech and Congress’ formal declaration of war. The speech, which was broadcast live by radio in 1941, attracted the largest audience in U.S. radio history, with over 81 percent of American homes tuning in. Now, students will gather in classrooms and watch that same speech together, sharing thoughts, reflections, and emotions through modern devices.

We recommend the content and activities for grades three and above, but you can preview the video to determine if it is appropriate for your students.

How to Watch

We recommend you download the video in advance of your viewing party for the most seamless viewing experience. Log in to your Discovery Education account, locate the video Pearl Harbor Speech to the Congress of the United States, and choose the download option. Visit this page on the day of the viewing party to launch the event, see the essential questions, and join the conversation with classrooms around the country.

This video is available to all Discovery Education Streaming customers, if you are not currently a subscriber to one of these services, you can sign-up for a no-obligation 60-day trial to participate in this event.



Join the Discussion

Join the conversation by following @DiscoveryEd on Twitter or via this Padlet. Share photos of your classroom viewing, reflections from the essential questions, and more using #CelebratewithDE.

What if we are watching after the event?

Your class can watch the video any time and join the discussion asynchronously. If you are participating after December 7, you may want to have students review the community conversation tool or Twitter discussion to compare ideas and make connections. You can also use the suggested resources to support your discussions around the anniversary.


Classroom Activities

Objectives and Classroom Activities

Classroom Activities

On December 7, 1941, Japan's surprise attack on U.S. military bases situated on Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii shocked the nation. The attack, which lasted several hours, left 2,403 Americans dead and wounded 1,178 more.

Though a surprise, the bombing of Pearl Harbor followed years of mounting tensions between the United States and Japan. The United States objected to Japan’s invasions of China and French Indochina, as well as its alliance with aggressive dictators in Germany and Italy. In 1940, the United States launched economic sanctions against Japan. After negotiations to end the sanctions failed, Japan planned the Pearl Harbor attack to eliminate American naval and air forces in the Pacific Ocean.

The day following the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his now famous speech, filled with pathos and patriotism, to to a joint session of Congress and moved them to declare war, marking the United States’ entry into World War II.

The speech, which was broadcast live by radio in 1941, attracted the largest audience in U.S. radio history, with over 80 percent of American homes tuning in. Now, students will gather in classrooms and watch that same speech together, sharing thoughts, reflections, and emotions through modern devices.

Before Viewing

Before the virtual viewing party, we suggest utilizing the following resources and activities to help build background knowledge for students. Search Discovery Education for many additional resources.

America’s Isolationism
Video Segment, Discovery Education Streaming
Examines the efforts of American presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt to preserve the country's isolationist stance at the outbreak of war in Europe.

The Attack of Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941
Video Segment, Discovery Education Streaming
This newsreel-style, primary source video contrasts life in America before and after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt December 8, 1941 Speech to Congress
Audio, Discovery Education Streaming
While listening to the original audio of President Roosevelt’s speech to congress, we suggest printing or projecting the speech transcript (provided in “Materials”).

During Viewing

Complete AEIOU Graphic Organizers
Have students complete an AEIOU graphic organizer. This strategy helps students look for and remember key ideas about the information presented in the video. It also provides a conversation structure for debriefing with students.

After Viewing

Create Six Word Stories
The attack on Pearl Harbor marked a turning point in American history. Six Word Story is a teaching strategy that allows students to practice summarizing and selective word choice as students convey a big idea using only six words.

Write Journals
Lesson Idea, Discovery Education Streaming
In this activity, students construct journal entries for the day before, they day of, and the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor utilizing contrasting Discovery Education sound effects to conjure mental images.



Viewing Party Essential Questions

If something like this happened today, how would we receive the information? How do presidents and leaders respond to important news of the world?

The attack on Pearl Harbor was, in some ways, a unifying event for the country. What recent events have had a similar impact on American patriotism? How are the events similar and different?

When listening to FDR’s words, consider what kind of leader he sounds like. How do his voice and words make you feel? Why was this important?