Why did President Truman drop the atomic bombs in August 1945? A study in interpretations SMART TASK KS3

This is a well-covered topic and most of you will already have your own favoured approach.  For that reason I am not offering just one lesson but instead a series of shorter smart tasks, some of which you might want to graft onto what you already do. OFSTED’s subject surveys have pointed out that many outstanding departments stand out because of the attention they pay to named historians and changing historiography of events.  For that reason I have included not only activities but also background reading to keep your own thinking up to date.

So we have the following three related activities, resources for which are all held on the PowerPoint unless otherwise indicated.

Activity 1

Decision making.  After using slide 2 (a White House memo showing what Truman was thinking in summer 1945), students have to predict what influences bore most heavily on his decision making.  But first they look at what options Truman actually had (slides 3-7).  Students research each and then award each option a mark out of 10 depending on how advisable they think it was.  They have to think of questions they need to ask and data they need to research before making up their

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