Truman On Trial: Investigating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki


** Update: We are delighted to announce that Truman On Trial was a finalist in the Education Resources Awards 2018**

Investigate the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. This teaching pack is made up of three parts:

1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki carousel activity (engaging with - and reflecting on - a wide range of primary and secondary historical sources)

2. Truman on Trial (A mock trial in the classroom to decide whether or not the bombings were justified, in which students take on the roles of barristers, witnesses and jurors. There are also lower- and higher-ability versions of this lesson.)

3. Subject-specific follow-up lesson:
History (source analysis)
RE (Just War theory)
English (haiku and senryu-writing)
Citizenship (exploring media reporting)

The lessons are also highly relevant to the curriculum and exam syllabuses of various other subjects, as well as being an excellent way to help meet SMSC and Prevent requirements. Each lesson plan includes differentiation, extension and enrichment suggestions.

NB: The pack has just been updated. The new edition contains lots of exciting new material and activities!


‘It was very easy to differentiate the lesson and really made my students question the decision…. Boys who usually struggle to form an opinion were thoroughly engaged from the start of the enquiry and by the end were happy to debate with one another with solid evidence behind their opinions. So, a massive thank you from me and my students!’ - Secondary school teacher

‘dealt with the subject matter… in a sensitive and thought provoking way… it can be used at either KS3 or KS4; it is also cross-curricular and sits well within the foundation subjects such as English. The effective use of primary and secondary sources material brings the subject matter alive and the strength of the resource is that it includes a multitude of participatory and learning methodologies such as the use of discussion, debate, role play and ranking exercises. All of which develop crucial thinking skills of: Information-processing, Reasoning, Enquiry, Creative thinking and Evaluation.' - Balbir Sohal, education consultant and ACT member (read the full review at

‘This resource has been recommended for teachers by TES Resource Team' - TES Resources

‘really informative and interesting.’ – Year 10 student, King Ethelbert School, Kent


Save for later
  • Lesson 1: Hiroshima and Nagasaki carousel.ppt
  • Lesson 2: courtroom trial (standard/higher-ability).pptx
  • Lesson 2 (lower-ability).pptx
  • Lesson 3: English: haiku and senryu.pptx
  • Lesson 3: History: source analysis.pptx
  • Lesson 3: RE: Just War.pptx.ppt
  • Lesson 3: Citizenship: media reporting.pptx
  • Lesson 1: Hiroshima & Nagasaki carousel.pdf
  • Lesson 2: lower-ability version.pdf
  • Lesson 2: courtroom trial.pdf
  • Lesson 3: English - haiku.pdf
  • Lesson 3: Citizenship - media reporting.pdf
  • Lesson 3: History - source analysis.pdf
  • Lesson 3: RE - Just War.pdf
  • Truman On Trial whole pack.pdf
  • Lesson 2: Higher-ability.pdf

About this resource


Created: Nov 21, 2013

Updated: Apr 20, 2018


ppt, 10 MB

Lesson 1: Hiroshima and Nagasaki carousel


pptx, 8 MB

Lesson 2: courtroom trial (standard/higher-ability)


pptx, 8 MB

Lesson 2 (lower-ability)

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