page contains specific resources developed for teachers using
Unit | General Childhood Experiences
| Specific Childhood Experiences | Childhood
in Internment Camps |Focus on War
Event for Entire Unit:
a primary source document:
the following document (Shortened
version in Microsoft Word format) (Shortened
version in PDF format) to students and ask them to answer
the following questions:
wrote this document?
was it written?
are the residents referred to in the document?
is Executive Order 9066 (Full
version in Microsoft Word format) (Full
version in PDF format), issued by Franklin Roosevelt on
February 19, 1942.
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President
Franklin D. Roosevelt issued this executive order, which permitted
the military to bypass the constitution and the safeguards
for American citizens in the name of national defense.
result of this order was the exclusion from certain areas,
and the evacuation and mass incarceration of 120,000 persons
of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, most of whom
were U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens. Half
of these people were children.
Japanese Americans were forced to relocate to internment camps
surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards for up to 4 years.
Sometimes families were separated into different camps. Many
became ill and died due to inadequate medical care or stress.
Several were killed by military guards.
with the class the facts they know about World War II.
background information, see:
students to write down the activities they do for a 24 hour
available resources, brainstorm what daily life was like in
the 1940s during World War II.
life in the 1940s with the present.
could make posters, create multimedia exhibits, or perform skits
describing 1940s life.
an integrated lesson with creative writing, ask students to write
about their own childhood experiences.
are some suggested story starters:
are your very earliest childhood memories?
was your favorite toy? Why do you think that toy was special?
was your favorite book? Why?
was your earliest school memory?
was your first best friend? What has happened to that friendship
in the years that have passed since then?
was your worst enemy? Why is this memory of that person so vivid?
was your favorite food? What did you eat then that you no longer
was the biggest trouble you got into as a child? Did you deserve
was your greatest achievement? How did it make you feel? What
influence do you think it has had on your life since?
what you did or where you went as a child when you wanted to
in Internment Camps
good resource for information about internment camps is
the book Born Free and Equal, a selection of Ansel
Adams's photographs of the Manzanar internment camp which
was published in 1944 by U.S. Camera along with a text by
book is available on the LIbrary of Congress website:
a letter to his friend Nancy Newhall, the wife of Beaumont
Newhall, curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art,
Adams wrote: "Through the pictures the reader will be
introduced to perhaps twenty individuals . . . loyal American
citizens who are anxious to get back into the stream of life
and contribute to our victory."
Library of Congress also has an excellent unit plan on Japanese
Internment in their Learning Collections:
excellent unit plan, The War Relocation Camps of World War II:
When Fear was Stronger than Justice, is online from the National
the website, Dr. Seuss Went to War: A Catalog of Political Cartoons,
to analyze political cartoons.
associate Dr. Seuss with children's books, but he was active
as a political cartoonist for two years, 1941-1943. He was the
chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM and
drew over 400 editorial cartoons.