LESSON PLAN FOR DISCUSSION:
ATOMIC TESTING AT BIKINI ATOLL
This discussion lesson will cove the topic of nuclear testing at the Bikini
Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
As an introduction to the lesson, the students will watch excerpts of
“Radio Bikini”, a documentary about the testing program. Prior to
this, I will have them research the topic by using the internet site www.bikiniatoll.com.
I will also share some personal history of having lived in the Marshall
Islands and my experience in meeting Jack Niedenthal who wrote “For the
Good of Mankind”, which is about the relocation of the Bikinians.
By the end of the lesson the students will be able to:
List several reasons for the testing
Compare and contrast this relocation with other groups
List several advantages of an atoll over a low coral island
List several positives and negatives to the testing
Give a definition of culture and explain how a group maintains it
1. Why did we need to test nuclear weapons?
2. Why did we choose the Bikini Atoll?
3. Do you believe that the Bikinians really had a choice in whether or
not to allow the U.S. to use their islands? Why? Why not?
4. Can you compare this move to any other groups of people? Which
5. Do you think that it would be difficult to maintain a sense of culture
if you had to keep moving from place to place? Why? Why not?
6. Why did the Bikinians have such a hard time adjusting to their new home
at Rongerik and Kili?
7. Were there any positives to come out of this for the Bikinians?
8. Discuss your thoughts on this picture. (Give brief discription)