Teacher Corner

War in the Pacific National Historical Park

Pacific Historic Parks educators have worked in partnership with local teachers at War in the Pacific National Historical Park to design and prepare curriculum materials for visiting teachers and students. Our aim is to provide an enriching and valuable experience for each and every student who comes our way. Classes are encouraged to go to the Visitor Center for a free movie, interact with exhibits, and explore an outdoor park site on their own.

Fonte Plateau

Features

The highland of Fonte was renamed Nimitz Hill. At the rear of the plateau is a concrete bunker with two concrete arch entrances. This structure was a major Japanese naval communications center during World War II. The Japanese communications center is now commonly called Fonte Plateau. When entering the bunker, there is a narrow hallway that leads into a larger, empty space. There are wires still hanging form the ceiling of the bunker. Within the east entrance is a concrete platform that may have been used by the Japanese as a generator platform.

What to Expect

Unpaved parking area. No paved walkways. No restrooms. No running water. No picnic tables. Trash receptacles are placed near the parking lot. No seating area. The bunker is dark and has no electricity. Normally, the doors of Fonte Plateau remain locked. If you wish to enter the bunker with your students, please contact the Pacific Historic Parks Education Department to unlock the door for your field trip.

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Fonte Plateau Communications Center

Grades 3 &4

Communication is essential for survival in wartime. Take your students to this historical site to examine the role of communication among soldiers during battle. Students will learn more about communication equipment and discuss ways in which communication methods over time have changed. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 3 Social Studies Standard 3.1.4
  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.2.11

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Familiarize with Fonte Plateau

Grades 9-12

The Japanese communications center on Fonte Plateau is embedded into Nimitz Hill and camouflaged by surrounding jungle. Bring flashlights when you and your students visit this fascinating historical site and analyze why it was an ideal location for a communications center. This worksheet can be completed using the War in the Pacific National Historical Park’s mobile web app. Students can listen to the compelling story of Japanese Lieutenant General Takashina Takashi at this very site. Mobile devices with data required. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.3.2
  • High School US History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.2.14
  • High School World Geography Standard WG.3.8
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present Standard WH.3.1

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T. Stell Newman Visitor Center

Features

The T. Stell Newman Visitor Center has an exhibit hall that is organized into modules, each with a different theme. Modules include interactive activities such as exploring themed scrapbooks, holding artifact replicas, and listening to authentic historic recordings. Youth can also experience the interactive digital features, such as the World War II Timeline, Guam’s Watershed model, and a survival program. There is a laser show in which viewers observe three flat panel monitors, a large topographic map, and lasers to learn about the details of the Battle of Guam. Three media stations hold dozens of short videos that offer narration and captions in English and Japanese. Groups of up to 50 persons can use the theater to view a ten-minute film with captions titled, “The Battle for Guam.” The movie is available in English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Korean.

What to Expect

The Visitor Center is open daily from 9am to 4:30 pm. The building is enclosed with air conditioning and carpeting. Restroom facilities are available. Food and drinks are not allowed inside the building. Reserved parking spaces are available with accessible walkways to the visitor center. A free manual wheelchair loan is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Pacific Historic Parks museum store is located in the Visitor Center and holds an impressive collection of educational publications on the Pacific War, Guam history, and the natural and cultural resources of this region.

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Unsung Heroes

Grades 4-5

Throughout the Pacific, islanders were trapped between global warring nations and were deeply impacted by a war not of their making. Bring your students to the T. Stell Newman Visitor to learn about Guam Insular Guardsman Pete Cruz, Catholic Priest Jesus Baza Duenas, Educator Agueda I Johnston, and other countless men and women who endured invasion, occupation, and warfare. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standard:

  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.2.11
  • Grade 5 History Standard 5.2.2

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Guam Guardians

Grades 4-5

An astounding number of organisms live in and around the park’s reefs. Human impact continues to take a toll on these vulnerable natural resources. Bring your students to the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center to learn how human practices harm the environment and what we can do to help protect our land and waters. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.3.2
  • Grade 5 Science Standards 5.2.4

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World War II Innovations of Communications

Grades 6-8

Take your students on a technological journey to the past! Using T. Stell Newman Visitor Center exhibits, students can discover the types of technologies that were used during World War II. Students will learn about the devices that helped wartime civilians keep abreast of current events, as well as how the famous Navajo Code Talkers used technology to keep one step ahead of Axis powers. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • 6th Grade Science Standard 6.5.2, 6.5.3
  • 7th Grade Science Standard 7.5.2, 7.5.4
  • 8th Grade Science Standard 8.5.2, 8.5.4

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The Chamorro Experience

Grades 9-12

War in the Pacific National Historical Park commemorates the unique experiences of the Chamorro people during World War II. Bring your students to the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center to discover their stories firsthand. Students will learn about the tragedy of war and the hope for reconciliation. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • High School U.S. History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.2.14
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present WH.2.26

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Understanding World War II with Artifacts

Grades 9-12

The park museum collection of more than 100,000 items includes World War II photographs, artifacts, war memorabilia, and oral histories that help tell the diverse stories of the Pacific War and the war years on Guam. Bring your students to the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center to identify and analyze the artifacts currently on display in the exhibit hall. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.1
  • High School U.S. History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.1.1
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present WH.2.26

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Piti Guns

Features

Situated above the hills of Piti are three Japanese coastal defense guns. They are the only guns in the park that are still in their original emplacements. The guns were installed through Chamorro forced labor. Piti Guns is also home to various plants, such as African tulip trees, betel nut palm trees, spider lilies, kamachile, and hibiscus. Mahogany trees that were planted in this area as a result of the Guam Agricultural Experiment Station (1909-1932) and agricultural school (1932-1940) remain and can be seen on the trail today.

What to Expect

The trailhead is located at the base of the hill. The trail begins with a concrete stairway and then ascends steeply through thick coastal jungle. Use caution as the trail and stairs may be slippery. No restrooms. No running water. No picnic tables. Trash receptacles are found at the trailhead. The trail is narrow in some areas so approximately 30 pax should visit this park site at one time. The unpaved parking area is located left of the Piti Catholic Church social hall building.

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Multiple Perspectives at Piti Guns

Grades 9-12

In December 1941, the island of Guam was taken over the by the Japanese Army. Ruling the island for over two and a half years, they made efforts to heavily fortify the terrain surrounding Guam’s coasts and cliffs. See the remnants of the war and see the guns that were installed in the hills of the village of Piti. Use this worksheet with your students to find out what happened at this historical site from the perspectives of American soldiers, Japanese soldiers, and the CHamoru. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • High School US Hitory from Ancient Time to Present Standard US.2.13
  • High School World Geography Standard WG.3.1
  • High School World Histroy from Ancient Time to Present Standard WH.2.26

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Hike to Historic Piti Guns

Japanese Language

Piti Guns consists of wayside exhibits that illustrate the stories that took place on this hill in the following languages: English, Japanese, and CHamoru. Students taking a Japanese World Language course will be able to apply their knowledge beyond the school setting by walking through the trail and observing the signs along the path. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Course 1 World Languages Standard 1WL. 2.1
  • High School Course 2 World Languages Standard 2WL.2.3
  • High School Course 3 World Languages Standard 3WL.3.2
  • High School Course 4 World Languages Standard 4WL.6.1

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The Silent Guns

Grade 4

Today, three World War II guns rest silently within a mahogany forest in the hills of Piti. During the war, the hasty efforts by the Japanese military to fortify the island were never fully completed. Take a trip to the past with your students and ascend through the steep, thick, coastal jungle, reminiscent of the challenging terrain negotiated by both Japanese and US troops during World War II. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standard:

  • Grade 4 Guam History Standard 4.2.11

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History in the Hills/Hestoria siha gi Ekso’

Grade 4/Chamorro Language

Piti Guns consists of wayside exhibits that illustrate the stories that took place on this hill in the following languages: English, Japanese, and CHamoru. Students taking a CHamoru course will be able to apply their knowledge beyond the school setting by walking through the trail and observing the signs along the path. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 4 Guam History Standard 4.2.11
  • High School Course 1 World Languages Standard 1WL.2.1
  • High School Course 2 World Languages Standard 2WL.2.3
  • High School Course 3 World Languages Standard 3WL.3.2
  • High School Course 4 World Languages Standard 4WL.6.1

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Piti Guns Trail

Grade 6

The Piti Guns or Piti Coastal Defense Guns is the site of three Vickers, type Model 3 coastal defense guns. They are unique reminders of the people throughout history who have found Guam as a valuable asset and have left behind evidence for others to discover. As your students go along the Piti Guns trail, use the signs along the path to answer the questions. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standard:

  • Grade 6 World History from Ancient Times to Present Standard 6.2.14

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Native or Not

Grades 9-12

In 1928, Mahogany trees were planted in the Piti Guns area as part of the historic Agricultural Experiment Station. Over seven decades later, the flora and fauna along the Piti Guns trail have changed drastically. With the help of this worksheet, students can identify native, non-native, and invasive trees along the path and draw conclusions about which type of tree is the most dominant. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Biology Standard BI.2.27
  • High School Biology Standard BI.2.29
  • High School Biology Standard BI.2.30

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Ga'an Point

Features

World War II Japanese fortifications are still intact at Ga’an Point, such as two pillboxes and several small cave shelters. One pillbox is built into a limestone knoll and the second has an observation post on top of it. There are also two guns situated near the beach. One is a 25mm anti-aircraft gun and the other is a 200mm coastal defense gun. Three national flags are on display to honor the nations involved in the Battle for Guam. Native and endemic plants grow throughout the site.

What to Expect

Restroom facilities are available daily from 7am to 5pm. Reserved parking spaces are available with accessible walkways leading to Japanese guns and pillboxes. There are two picnic tables with minimal shade. Trash receptacles are placed throughout the park.

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Ga’an Point “I-Spy” Plant Search

Grades Kindergarten - 1

Ga’an Point is home to a variety of native plants, such as reeds, Morning Glory flowers, pandanus trees, and Hibiscus flowers. Use this tally mark and 10-frame worksheet at the park to assist students in retaining new information while having fun with collecting and comparing data. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Common Core State standard:

  • Kindergarten Math K.CC.4b
  • Grade 1 Math 1.14.1

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Dare to Compare

Grade 1

Get your 1st graders thinking about native plant life at Ga’an Point. Students explore four native plants by using their observational skills to figure out which flower, leaf, or fruit belongs to each plant. Then students can compare their findings to answer questions about the different traits of each plant. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 1 Science 1.2.22

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Be the Poet: Write a Haiku at Ga’an Point

Grades 6-8

Alongside Ga’an Point’s historical structures are an abundance of tall coconut trees that line the beachfront. The national park service has taken measures against the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle — an invasive beetle which has exhausted this significant cultural and natural resource. Take your students on a field trip to see firsthand how this invasive species impacts Guam’s coconut trees. Students will use this worksheet to practice their observation skills and write a haiku using different senses, descriptive words, and/or literacy devices. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Common Core State Standards:

  • Grade 6 English Language Arts 6.RL.7
  • Grade 7 English Language Arts 7.RL.4
  • Grade 8 English Language Arts 8.RL.10

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Step Back in Time: Ga'an Point Audio Review Worksheet

Grades 6-8

Ga’an Point is one of the southern invasion landing sites for American troops on July 21, 1944. Take students to this former battle site and use this worksheet to transport them back in time. The worksheet is completed using the War in the Pacific National Historical Park’s mobile web app, where students can learn how Japanese soldiers prepared to defend Ga’an Point and visualize one American soldier’s harrowing experience when landing on this very beach. Mobile devices with data required. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 6 Social Studies Standard 6.2.14
  • Grade 7 Social Studies Standard 7.2.1
  • Grade 8 Social Studies Standard 8.2.9

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Ga'an Point History Hunt

Grades 6-12

The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and the 77th Army Infantry Division came ashore Ga’an Point on July 21, 1944 and faced intense fire and resistance from the Japanese. The limestone crop found at this site was once a disguised Japanese fortress that poured deadly fire on the US troops landing here. Take your students on a field trip and use this worksheet to find out more about what happened at this historic location by exploring and reading the signs installed around the park. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 6 Social Studies Standard 6.2.14
  • Grade 7 Social Studies Standard 7.3.1
  • Grade 8 Social Studies Standard 8.2.9
  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • High School US History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.2.14
  • High School World Geography Standard WG.3.8
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present Standard WH.2.26

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Asan Beach

Features

Asan Beach contains many historic resources preserved from our island’s rich past, such as Japanese pillboxes, caves, and tunnels. At the tip of the point is the Liberator's Memorial, a structure erected in 1994 to honor all US forces involved in the recapture of Guam. Along the beach there are two Mabini monuments honoring the exiled Filipinos. Two other nearby monuments – Monument for the 3rd Marine Division and the US Landing Monument – honor the men who came ashore here on July 21, 1944. There is a grassy trail behind the restrooms where visitors can find placards that identify six culturally significant plants. The trail winds through the limestone forest while offering a breathtaking view of the Asan Invasion Beach from the top. A Japanese gun emplacement reinforced with metal beams can also be found along the Ridge Trail.

What to Expect

Restroom facilities are available daily from 7am to 5pm. Asan Beach grounds are landscaped and manicured, with the grass cut regularly and coconut trees lining the beach shores. There are eight picnic tables along the beach shore with minimal shade from coconut trees. Large trees near the ridge alongside the restrooms provide larger, shadier areas for picnics. Reserved parking spaces are available with accessible walkways leading to the monuments and Asan Point. One walkway begins near the shore at the eastern part of Asan parking lot and leads to various memorials and loops around the flat, grassy areas of the park. To the west is a circular concrete trail path that encircles the Liberators’ Memorial. Trash receptacles are placed throughout the park.

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Asan Beach Habitats

Grades 2 & 3

War in the Pacific National Historical Park protects 1,000 acres of submerged lands and another 800 acres of native limestone forest and savannah grasslands. Take students to the park to experience the unique sights and sounds of various habitats found at Asan Beach. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 2 Science Standard 2.1.1
  • Grade 3 Science Standard 3.4.5

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Asan Beach U.S. Landing Monument

Grades 2-5

On July 21, 1941, US Navy ships bombarded the island while the US 3rd Marine Division rushed ashore to retake Guam from the Japanese military. The US Landing Monument was erected along Asan Beach and is dedicated to the Marines who fought here. Use this worksheet to help students understand the symbolism of the United States Marine Corps and the actions of their soldiers. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 2 Social Studies Standard 2.2.4
  • Grade 3 Social Studies Standard 3.1.4
  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.2.12
  • Grade 5 Social Studies Standard 5.2.2

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Asan Beach Gun Emplacement Photo Analysis

Grades 6-8

During World War II, hillsides and cliffs were used by the Japanese to build defensive structures. Use this worksheet to help students practice analyzing a historical photo of a defense structure found at Asan Beach. Students will analyze the photo before and after visiting a real gun emplacement at Asan Point and reflect on how lands and the structures on it change over time. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 6 Social Studies Standard 6.3.1
  • Grade 7 Social Studies Standard 7.3.2
  • Grade 8 Social Studies Standard 8.2.9

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Botanical Blitz at Asan Beach

Grades 9-12

Did you know that in a 2008 survey, approximately 44% of the plant species identified at War in the Pacific National Historical Park are indigenous to Guam and the Mariana Islands? Take your students on a plant tour and lead them along the trail to identify plants and learn about the cultural and medicinal uses of each. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Physical Science Standard PS.1.4
  • High School Biology Science Standard BI.1.5

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Identifying Marine Life at Asan Beach

Grades 9-12

War in the Pacific National Historical Park contains more species of corals, fish, and invertebrates than any other national park. The biodiversity throughout this park is rarely matched anywhere in the world. Take you students to the park to discover the different types of marine animals of Asan Beach. Use this worksheet to highlight the differences between cnidarians, mollusks, arthropod, and echinoderms at your park. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Physical Science Standard PS.1.4
  • High School Biology Science Standard BI.1.5

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Asan Bay Overlook

Features

Asan Bay Overlook features the Memorial Wall that honors four groups of people: (1) US servicemen who died between December 8, 1941 and October 22, 1942 against the attacking Japanese armed forces on Guam, (2) US servicemen who died during the Battle for Guam from July 21, 1944 to August 10, 1944, (3) Names of the people of Guam who lost their lives from December 8, 1941 to August 10, 1944, and (4) Names of the people of Guam who suffered personal injury, forced labor, forced march or internment from December 8, 1941 to August 10, 1944. There are several commemorative bronze sculptures that depict events on Guam during the World War II Japanese occupation and battle in 1944. There is a panoramic view of the villages of Asan and Piti, and a special monument dedicated to the first CHamoru U.S. Navy casualties of World War II.

What to Expect

Accessible from 7am to 5pm. Reserved parking spaces are available with accessible walkways leading to the view points and memorial wall. No restrooms. No running water. No picnic tables. Trash receptacles are placed near the parking lot. The area contains a concrete shaded area with seating for approximately 20pax. The Memorial Wall area contains a seating area with no shade for approximately 30 pax.

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Asan Bay Overlook Plaque Analysis

Grades 3-5

Asan Bay Overlook serves as a memorial to those that lost their lives and of those who suffered atrocities during the war. It features unique bronze sculptures that depict the events on Guam during the Japanese occupation in 1941-1944. Students examine one of the bronze plaques and analyze the symbols found on it to understand the message the artist conveys to park visitors. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 3 Social Studies Standard 3.1.4
  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.1.7
  • Grade 5 Social Studies Standard 5.5.2

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Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall Stone Rubbing

Grades 6-12

Take your students on a field trip to observe the etched names of men who bravely fought on the front lines and the names of the civilians who suffered the consequences of nations at war, many paying the ultimate sacrifice. Bring a lead pencil and use this worksheet to make a pencil rubbing of a person’s name on the memorial wall of black granite. Students may take this piece of history home with them to share with their families or conduct further research about the life of their chosen person. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 6 Social Studies Standard 6.4.1
  • Grade 7 Social Studies Standard 7.1.1
  • Grade 8 Social Studies Standard 8.2.9
  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • High School US History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.2.14
  • High School World Geography Standard WG.4.1
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present Standard WH.2.26

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Asan Bay Overlook: Battle for Guam

Grades 9-12

Asan Bay Overlook offers a view of the landing beaches used by Marines during the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Use this worksheet to imagine how the battle played out below on this historic battlefield. Students get a bird’s eye view from Asan Bay Overlook to learn about the inland offensive, banzai charges, and the importance of Apra Harbor. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • High School US History from Ancient Times to Present Standard US.2.14
  • High School World Geography Standard WG.3.2
  • High School World History from Ancient Times to Present Standard WH.2.26

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Apaca Point

Features

Apaca Point features a sandy beach with scenic limestone formations located right offshore. A reinforced concrete Japanese pillbox is also located along the southeast corner near the water. A tunnel from the shore leads to the interior of the pillbox, where two gun slits would have allowed for automatic weapon and rifle support with a wide field of fire.

What to Expect

The area contains a picnic area with five picnic tables on a concrete shaded by the trees. No restrooms. No running water. Trash receptacles are placed near the parking lot. Reserved parking spaces are available with accessible walkways leading to a accessible picnic area.

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Senses at Apaca Point

Grades Kindergarten - 1

Apaca Point’s pillboxes are a tangible reminder of the Japanese Occupation on Guam. Students can engage in the site’s history by using four of their senses: touch, smell, sight, and sound. With the help of pictures, students can answer questions that engage their senses and teach them to distinguish between different textures, smells, shapes, and sounds. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Kindergarten Science Standard K.1.2
  • Grade 1 Science Standard 1.1.1

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Pillbox Perspective at Apaca Point

Grades 3-5

The pillbox at Apaca Point is an excellent representation of an intricate Japanese defensive fortification. Bring your students on a field trip to see and touch this historic World War II pillbox that is built directly into the limestone. Use this worksheet to guide your students on a field trip that helps them gain a new perspective of the fighting in the Battle for Guam. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 3 Social Studies Standard 3.1.4
  • Grade 4 Social Studies Standard 4.2.2
  • Grade 5 Social Studies Standard 5.3.1

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Eco-Explorers!

Grades 3-5

Apaca Point contains a beach strand community that is home to various plants and animals and provides a laboratory for scientific inquiry and research. Students get an up-close and personal look at the animals living along Apaca Point’s shore. Use this worksheet to examine this microcosm and follow up with a discussion on the impact of human behavior on these special creatures. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • Grade 3 Science Standard 3.1.2
  • Grade 4 Science Standard 4.1.2
  • Grade 5 Science Standard 5.1.1

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Hidden Defenses of Apaca Point

Grade 8

Apaca Point is a historical site from the World War II era known for its natural beauty and intricate Japanese defense fortifications. Students can tour Apaca Point and use the waysides and the War in the Pacific National Historical Park’s cell phone audio tour to help paint a picture of life at the Point during the Japanese occupation of Guam. This worksheet fulfills the following Guam Department of Education standards:

  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.1
  • High School Guam History Standard GH.2.3
  • Grade 8 History Standard 8.2.5
  • Grade 8 History Standard 8.2.9

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To learn more about any of these education programs and how you can play a part in preserving history, please contact the Pacific Historic Parks Guam Education Department at guamed@PacificHistoricParks.org.