One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children’s Peace Statue
The inspirational story of the Japanese national campaign to build the Children's Peace Statue honoring Sadako and hundreds of other children who died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima. Ten years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Sadako Sasaki died as a result of atomic bomb disease. Sadako's determination to fold one thousand paper cranes and her courageous struggle with her illness inspired her classmates. After her death, they started a national campaign to build the Children's Peace Statue to remember Sadako and the many other children who were victims of the Hiroshima bombing. On top of the statue is a girl holding a large crane in her outstretched arms. Today in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, this statue of Sadako is beautifully decorated with thousands of paper cranes given by people throughout the world. From the Paperback edition.
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Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. (This annotation contains an image)
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Why do you think the author felt this way after visiting the Sasaki family?
We already know that Sadako died at a young age. Why do you think the author chose to include a picture of her as a first grader? How is she similar and different to other first grade children?
Explain why you think people continue to make cranes and place them at the statue? Why is this important?
1. Atomic Bomb and Radiation
Think about how horrific the damage must have been to have caused houses to be intentionally destroyed.
2. An Unforgettable Morning
A reconnaissance is military activity in which soldiers, airplanes, etc., are sent to find out information about an enemy.
A simile is when two things or ideas are compared using "like" or "as." Identify the simile on this page.
Think about the intensity of both the short term and long term effects of this bomb. Even those who survived from the initial dropping of the bomb were susceptible to the aftermath.
Years later, the final death toll from the bombing cannot be determined. Why?
3. A Desperate Escape
Fire bombings were a technique where many small bombs that would start fires were dropped, usually on an urban area. This technique was used frequently towards the end of World War II. (This annotation contains an image)
Using context clues, what do you think ominously means?
Consider why the author included Mrs. Sasaki's point of view at this moment.
What of the following is not something that Mrs. Sasaki has noticed?
Onigiri makes rice portable and easy to eat as well as preserving it. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think the author chose to include this illustration which portrays Mrs. Sasaki and her children completely isolated from all of the other victims?
4. Sadako’s Illness
The meaning of the name Mitsue is 'shining branch." Consider why Mr. and Mrs. Sasaki chose this name.
Which of the following is not a way that the Sasakis positively recovered from the bombing?
The A.B.C.C. was established by the same country that was responsible for the bombing. Consider why the US would be motivated to collect research on the effects of their own bombing.
Why are Mr. and Mrs. Sasaki surprised by Sadako's illness?
A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment worn on special occasions. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Sadako's diagnosis, what can we assume about radiation induced leukemia?
Think about why Mr. Sasaki chose to hide the truth from Sadako. How do you think Sadako will feel when she finds out the truth?
Why is this an especially beautiful moment for the Sasaki family?
5. Sayonara, My Dear Friends
Despite her serious illness, Sadako can only think about her family and friends at school. What does this indicate about her character?
What made this day so bittersweet?
Think about how Sadako continued to bring joy to those around her even when very sick.
Which of the following is probably not a reason the author included real photographs in the text?
6. My Friend Yukiko
How do you think Sadako felt to discover this? How do you think she will react towards her family and friends for keeping it from her?
How do you think the August 6th Peace Ceremony was different for Sadako this year? Compare and contrast her experience at this ceremony before and after she became ill.
7. Folding Paper Cranes
Think about how long it would take Sadako to make one thousand cranes. What does this say about her attitude? (This annotation contains a video)
Sadako's consideration and kind-heartedness is best shown through what action?
Take note of the author's use of foreshadowing. How does it help us assume what will happen next? (This annotation contains a video)
8. Can’t Fold Any More
What effect is the leukemia having on Sadako? How has she changed as the disease has progressed? Use examples to support your answer.
Think about what themes continue to develop throughout the text. (This annotation contains a video)
9. Sadako’s Last Moments
How do you think Sadako felt, being surrounded by loved ones, in her final moments?
Think about what kinds of food you like to eat when feeling ill. How do they compare to ochazuke? (This annotation contains an image)
10. The Children’s Peace Statue
Which of the following is not a reason Sadako's classmates chose to do something to honor her after her death?
A mimeograph machine was an early printer or copier. (This annotation contains an image)
Judging from the group's excitement about the idea, what can you infer "unanimously" means?
How can you tell that this flyer was written by the students? Do you think it was convincing? Why or why not?
11. The Circle of Unity Widens
Take note of how far Hokkaido is from Hiroshima. Consider the impact of the students' message. (This annotation contains an image)
How did the opening of the Atomic Bomb Museum affect the support for the Peace Statue?
Sadako became famous for her paper crane creation. Think about how the work of this council contributed to that.
How was the mission of the Hiroshima Children and Students' Council for the Creation of Peace different from Sadako's mission to fold one thousand cranes?
12. Prayer for Peace
Consider how this design was created and how it contributed to Sadako's reputation.