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National Japanese American Historical Society,

Developed by Rosalyn Tonai, Chizu Iiyama, and Bess Ricketts

© 1992 National Japanese American Society

Grade Levels: Elementary School
Lesson ONE
Description: To help students become aware of, and sensitive to, the Japanese American camp experience. They will develop a sense of empathy by simulating the situations which Japanese American children faced.

Grade Levels: Intermediate - High School
Lesson ONE
Description: It is difficult for anyone to truly feel the experiences that others have gone through unless he or she has been through similar situations. However, it is very important for students to "feel" history as well as to know it. Therefore, students can study the circumstances under which Japanese Americans were removed from their homes, their cities, and encamped in isolation during World War II.

Grade Levels:
Intermediate - High School
Lesson TWO
Description: To guide and support students in the processes of critical thinking and group interaction through the study of The Bill of Rights and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Asian Americans and U.S.-Asia Relations: Japanese American Internment. Copyright AskAsia 1998. Lesson written and compiled by Angela Che, Asia Society.
Grade Levels: K-12
Description: Through this lesson plan, students will examine events and determine the factors which led to the Japanese American internment. They will become aware of what took place during the Japanese American internment experience, discuss the impact of the internment experience on Japanese American families and individuals and develop a sense of empathy by simulating the situations which Japanese American chiildren faced.

Using Primary and Secondary Sources to Study an American Tragedy: Japanese-American Internment during World War II by Mark Solomon.
Grade Levels: 7-12
In analyzing the documents and articles in this lesson, students will learn how U.S. citizens became prisoners in their own country, simply because of their cultural background. In discussing Executive Order 9066, students will gain an understanding of how racism and prejudice can become strong enough to convince a president to sign an unconstitutional act into law. They will also learn, from a student's account, how it felt to be pulled out of school, and away from one's friends, only because of one's cultural heritage. Finally, the students will form their own opinion through writing an in-class essay on the Walter Lippmann article; whether or not they agree/disagree with him, and why/why not.

Righting Past Wrongs 1999. Lesson prepared by
Grade Levels: 7-12
Students compare the unjust dishonorable discharge given to Henry Ossian Flipper -- a Buffalo Soldier and the first Black American to graduate from West Point -- with the denial of civil liberties to Japanese American internees during World War II. Only after many years did U. S. Presidents express regret for these unjust acts.

Learning More About the Japanese Internment Camps.
Grade Levels: 8th grade
Description: This activity involves using a site on the World Wide Web to learn more about the types of circumstances and conditions that existed for the people that were sent to live in Japanese Internment Camps during WWII. This activity is designed to increase the students knowledge and understanding of the environment and situations that many Japanese Americans faced during WWII so that they can make informed judgments about past events. The information relates to the strand, standard, and benchmark because it allows the students to see photographs, read information, and find research tools that discuss the conditions and circumstances that affected Japanese Americans in the internment camps. This will give them deeper knowledge to help them understand, consider, and evaluate the historical decision that was made to send people to these camps.

Citizenship Denied: An Integrated Unit on the Japanese American Internment. By: Judy Woo and Jolynn Asato. Teachers' Asian Studies Summer Institute. Curriculum Materials for Grades K-12.
Grade Levels: 8th grade
Description:Course abstract, introductory time line, goals and objectives, sample lessons, glossary, and bibliography from the Teachers' Asian Studies Summer Institute at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Japanese-American Internment Camps "Geography of Racism." by Ingolf Vogeler
Grade Levels: 8th grade
Description:Course materials written and used by Ingolf Vogeler, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Includes maps of Japanese Farms in the 1920s.

American Justice on Trial.
Grade Levels: 11 th - 12th grade
Description: This lesson is designed to raise students' awareness of events surrounding Japanese American internment during World War II, as well as the political and human rights issues that are associated with this episode. It is based on a mock trial in which the the United States government is being prosecuted for its actions by an international tribunal. The activity can benefit students on a practical levelby familiarizing them with the workings of the American legal system, and also by increasing their awareness of rights built into the Constitution which are relevant to their own lives.

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston
Grade Levels: 11 th - 12th grade
Description: Students use the Internet explore the themes of racism, and the civil and legal rights of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Specifically, students compare the account of life at the Manzanar internment camp in the text with accounts on the web and then demonstrate their understanding of the issues of racism, civil rights and legal rights.

Documents and Photographs Related to Japanese Relocation During World War II Created by the National Archives and Records Administration
Grade Levels: 11 th - 12th grade
Description: This lesson relates to the First , Fourth , and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution. 

Oh, California:  The Internment of Japanese-Americans During World War II Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Grade Levels: 11 th - 12th grade
Description: Students research the daily life of Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II and write radio documentaries using what they learn.

Kim/Kimi:Japanese Internment 1941-1946 Nebraska Wesleyan University
Grade Levels:
Description:  By using this web site you will gain a better understanding of the Japanese Internment Camps and how they effected the lives of those who were "relocated."  You will be required to answer questions relating to the websites you visit.

Impact of War with Asia on Asian Americans The Asia Society, 1997
Grade Levels:
Description: : Students will: identify perceptions towards Asians widely held by the American public through the analysis of political cartoons from the 1940's and 1990's (requires access to the TIME magazine article titled "How to Tell Your Friends from the Japs" on page 33 of the Dec. 22, 1941 edition). recognize the ramifications of such perceptions on Asians and Asian Americans discuss how the history of U.S.-Asia relations has to some extent shaped the course of events in the Asian American experience   consider the role of the media in influencing perceptions.

War Relocation Authority The Truman Library.
Grade Levels:
Description: This activity was developed in conjunction with the Truman Library's student research files.

Multi-Cultural Theater:  A Reflection of Societal Issues and Ills by Marcella Monk Flake, New Haven Teachers Institute.
Grade Levels: Recommended for History classes, Grades 7 - 10
Description:: This unit was developed to introduce seventh-grade T.A.G. students to plays that reflect the trials and triumphs of African and Japanese Americans. [The Japanese-American section begins here.]  This unit is full of history, and seeks to introduce students to cultures other than their own. There are self-esteem building, role-playing, creative writing and creative dramatics activities to reinforce the information presented. Historical events and information have been matched with plays that reflect them. This unit contains an original play, that will enlighten students as well as celebrate unity and brotherhood. The greater portion of a larger unit including Hispanics, and Jews, this unit will be used to enhance a present curriculum geared toward prejudice reduction. Some of the plays I have chosen to explore in this unit are One Day When I Was Lost, The Secret Gifts, Freedom Train, Abe Lincoln and the Runaway Slaves, Umoja Be Proud, and Git On Board. The aforementioned plays reflect segments of the African-American experience. The Japanese-American experience will be explored through the reading of Sotoba Komachi Birds of Sorrow, The Madman on the Roof, The Wash and the Soul Shall Dance.

Quest for Liberty by Linda Taggart-Fregoso, Janice Thiel, Joanne Thompson
Grade Levels: 9th grade social studies
Description: One facet of this Lesson Plan is Japanese-American Internment: Pacific Coast Nightmare

Internment of Japanese Americans:  Racism, Race and the Law by Vernellia R. Randall, University of Dayton Law School.
Grade Levels:University level
Description: In this last decade of the twentieth century, the erosion of civil rights gains once thought permanent has uncovered a long repressed question. What significance should we attribute to the struggle for racial justice that African-Americans [and others]  have waged for the past 300 years with no end in sight? This is a time for serious reflection. Another repetition of time-worn slogans will not do. Throughout the tattered civil rights ranks, voluntary reassessment must accompany the involuntary retrenchment imposed by a decade of civil rights setbacks in the White House, in the courts, and in the crucial realm of public opinion.

Instructions to All persons of Japanese Ancestry by Bill Friedheim, Borough of Manhattan Commjunity College
Grade Levels:
Description: This activity is designed to deepen the understanding of the experience of Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two and promote student-centered collaborative inquiry. It is centered around interrogating primary sources and evaluating historical
evidence on the World Wide Web and creating hypertext trails to construct knowledge.  Examine  this poster.  Then, as best you can, write a few sentences explaining what the document is about. With your partner(s), share your writing and discuss what else you would like to know so that you could create a story or historical narrative about the poster. (10 minutes).

Two Week Unit on Immigration by Steven Bercik and Koreen Slocum
Grade Levels:Grades 11 and 12 [Week two covers the Internment]
Description:  Immigration is the basis of America, the concept of a melting pot in which all peoples are welcomed and are greeted with freedom and opportunity. However, the reality for immigrants in the past and present coming to America is not a land of opportunity, but an environment where they face discrimination based on their ethnicity or race and struggle for the equal opportunity for which they came. The purpose of this unit on immigration is to make students aware that the political debates raging today are issues that have always been debated, with only the ethnicity of the immigrants involved in the debates changing. Students need to be aware of how their perceptions of immigrants develop, and how their own families may have once been the victims of the same ethnic and racial bias that effects immigrants coming to America today. Because the students have been incorporating their reading/writing journals into each unit plan in order to examine their own views and learning experiences, students will be expected to continue using their journals to reflect on their reading and the discoveries they make about themselves while learning about the immigration experience.

Problem Based Learning:  Japanese Internment by Brian Smith
Grade Levels: Grade 5 Social Studies
Description: The students will be presented with the following situation.  "You have been selected to be a part of a team to debate the topic of Japanese internment before General DeWitt's council. You will need to research the topic as thoroughly, yet quickly as possible. The General has requested that the debate take place in two days due to the urgency of the situation. You will be required to verbally debate the topic in front of the council, and also submit a two page group report of your argument which will be used by the council as a resource as they debate and make their decision." Your group must research the topic thoroughly and use knowledge you have gained through our readings and internet searches to compile your debate information. After giving this assignment the teacher will divide the class into two groups. One group will debate for, and the other will debate against internment.
Goals:   TSW gain greater understanding of war-time emotions and how people sometimes react to them. TSW gain knowledge about White-Japanese relations during WWII. TSW gain knowledge for research and understanding.
[NB:  All web links recommended by this lesson plan are dead, but many available here provide what students would need]

Internment of Japanese Americans by Esther Onishi
Grade Levels:
Key Question What impact did the internment of Japanese Americans, during World War II,  have on the children and families of West Coast Japanese Americans?
The 1944 Nisei Draft at Heart Mountain
. Part I and Part Arthur A. Hansen. Professor of History and Director of the Oral History Program, California State University, Fullerton (11th grade)
Grade Levels:  11th grade
Description: . By examining a controversial aspect of the World War II eviction and detention experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry-the drafting of U.S. citizen Nisei from behind barbed wires at a federal internment facility in Wyoming administered by the War Relocation Authority-this brief unit of several-days duration is designed to introduce students to two controversial historiographical issues. The first one involves the changing representation of past reality. The second, and closely related, issue pertains to how historical truths and value judgments are reflective of a society's circumstances and power relations. Since the situation under examination occurred in 1944 during the Japanese American Evacuation- yet achieved renewed prominence within the movement for Japanese American redress between the late 1960s and the present-this unit may be taught profitably in conjunction with either World War II or recent U.S. history.

A Picture's Worth ... Reading Posters
Grade Levels: Grade 5 Social Studies
Description: [Teacher Activity Center] This lesson plan includes many anti-German posters and four that are anti-Japanese] Students use a web resource to compare a number of postersfrom the home front during World War II to explore the impact of the war in everyday life.

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