Nanking Lesson Plan. Central Historical Question: What happened during the Japanese invasion of Nanking?

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1 Lesson Plan Central Historical Question: What happened during the Japanese invasion of? Materials: PowerPoint Documents A-C Sourcing Organizer Corroboration Organizer Plan of Instruction: 1. Explain that today students are going to be exploring what happened during the Japanese invasion of. They will be doing this by comparing different textbook accounts of the invasion and attempting to figure out the source information for the textbooks. They will then compare the textbook accounts to a third source. In order to begin this investigation some background information is necessary. 2. Use PowerPoint to establish or review background information for the invasion of. a. Context: Japan, 1930 i. Japan suffered from economic problems. ii. Japan was geographically small. iii. Goals of Japan s military leaders: 1. expand Japan s empire to gain more raw materials 2. restore Japan s power in Asia and the world b. Invasion of China i. Japan invaded China s northern region of Manchuria in ii. This area was rich with iron and coal. c. Invasion of i. was China s capital. ii. Japan invaded in December d. Present historical question of the lesson: What happened during the invasion of? 3. Reiterate that students are now going to read two textbook accounts of the invasion of. Pass out documents A and B along with the Sourcing Organizer. a. In pairs, students read the documents. b. Students try to determine the sources for each textbook and use evidence from each textbook to back their claims. c. Students share out responses:

2 i. Which textbook do you think comes from Japan? Which textbook comes from China? How do you know? What specific parts of each text helped you make your decision? d. Students answer final 2 questions and share out responses: i. First ask: After reading documents A and B, can you accurately answer what happened during the invasion of? Why or why not? ii. Which of these textbooks, if either, do you find more trustworthy? Why? iii. Where else would you look in order to figure out what happened during the Japanese invasion of? 4. Explain to students that they will now corroborate the two textbook accounts with another document. Pass out Document C and Corroboration Organizer. a. In pairs, students read document and answer the guiding questions. b. Students complete Corroboration Organizer. c. Students share out answers to questions: i. Is Spence a reliable source? Why or why not? ii. Does Spence s account corroborate better with the Chinese or Japanese textbook? How so? iii. Even though Spence s account corroborates better with the Chinese textbook, how does Spence s account differ from the Chinese textbook s account? 5. Final Discussion a. Why might textbooks from different countries offer different versions of the same historical events? b. When confronted with conflicting historical accounts, what is the best way to determine which is more accurate or trustworthy? Citations: New History Textbook. (2005). Tokyo: Fushosha. New century: Standard history textbook in mandatory education. (2001). Beijing: Beijing s Teachers College Press. Spence, J. D. (1999). The search for modern china. New York: W.W. Norton.

3 Textbook A Excerpt In August 1937, two Japanese soldiers, one an officer, were shot to death in Shanghai (the hub of foreign interests). After this incident, the hostilities between Japan and China escalated. Japanese military officials thought Chiang Kai-shek would surrender if they captured, the Nationalist capital; they occupied that city in December.* But Chiang Kai-shek had moved his capital to the remote city of Chongqing. The conflict continued. *At this time, many Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded by Japanese troops (the Nanjing Incident). Documentary evidence has raised doubts about the actual number of victims claimed by the incident. The debate continues even today. Textbook B Excerpt The Nanjing Massacre: In December 1937, the Japanese military captured Nanjing. The Japanese military committed bloody atrocities against the residents of Nanjing and prisoners of war, killing them in extremely cruel methods including mass execution, burning, burying alive, beheading, and biting by dogs. The Nanjing Massacre was the most horrible [event] in world [history] According to statistics, the estimate of the deaths caused by Japanese atrocities against unarmed Nanjing residents and Chinese soldiers amounted to more than 300,000 just during the six weeks of the occupation by the Japanese military. The Nanjing Massacre is one of the greatest acts of violence perpetrated by the Japanese aggressors on the Chinese people.

4 Sourcing the Textbooks 1) Which of these sources is for Textbook A and which is for Textbook B? New Century: Standard History Textbook in Mandatory Education. Published by Beijing s Teachers College Press. Beijing, China: Textbook Explain your answer. Provide evidence from the textbook to support your claim. New History Textbook. Published by Fusosha, Tokyo, Japan: Textbook Explain your answer. Provide evidence from the textbook to support your claim. 2) Which of these textbooks, if either, do you find more trustworthy? Why? 3) Where else would you look in order to figure out what happened during the Japanese invasion of?

5 Document C: Historian Jonathan Spence There followed in Nanjing a period of terror and destruction that must rank among the worst in the history of modern warfare. For almost seven weeks the Japanese troops, who first entered the city on December 13, unleashed on the defeated Chinese troops and on the helpless Chinese civilian population a storm of violence and cruelty that has few parallels. The female rape victims, many of whom died after repeated assaults, were estimated by foreign observers living in Nanjing at 20,000; the fugitive soldiers killed were estimated at 30,000; murdered civilians at 12,000. Other contemporary Chinese estimates were as much as ten times higher (300,000) and it is difficult to establish exact figures. Certainly robbery, wanton destruction, and arson left much of the city in ruins, and piles of dead bodies were observable in countless locations. Source: Excerpt from Jonathan Spence s book, The Search for Modern China, published in Spence specialized in Chinese history and taught at Yale University from 1993 to What type of document is this? What is the purpose of this type of document? 2. Do you think this reliable? Why or why not?

6 : Corroboration Organizer List 2-3 ways that Spence s account compares or contrasts with the Japanese textbook. 1) 2) 3) List 2-3 ways that Spence s account compares or contrasts with the Chinese textbook. 1) 2) 3)

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