Education Technology

NCSS: Graphing Casualties

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students use technology to visually enhance their understanding of the impact that dropping the atomic bomb had upon the people of Japan. They will create a scatter plot of the casualties from firebomb raids and from the atomic blasts.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the NoteFolio (tm) and TImeSpan(tm) Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Make enough copies of the Student Work Sheet so that each student can receive a copy. If you plan to let students work in groups for this activity, then it is a good idea to determine the groups beforehand and mix the groups so that there is at least one student in each group who is very proficient in using the applications on the TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Use chronology, sequencing, and patterns to examine interpretations of an event.
  • Evaluate conflicting sources and materials in the interpretation of a historical event or episode.
  • Evaluate President Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb.
  • Analyze the validity and reliability of primary source information and appropriate uses of information.
  • After the Activity

    When the students have all submitted their files, debrief the activity with a discussion using the Student Work Sheet questions as a starting point. This is a good opportunity for students to discuss why the events are seen so differently. They can also discuss the various effects of the decision to use the atomic bomb. Students can refer to the TImeSpan(tm) files they created and stored on their TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator to review information and time lines relating to war in the Pacific and other specific events covered in this activity.