Japanese Internment eXplorations menu The Decision to Intern The Internment Experience Internment and the Law Internment Resources Japanese American Internment

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General Resources for this eXploration| The Decision To Intern
The Internment Experience | Internment and the Law

Culminating Activity

General Resources for this eXploration

  • Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, National Park Service
    PDF Format
    (This book is out of print, and the National Park Service no longer has any paper copies of this publication. It is available on their website, but it is included on Digital History as a backup in PDF format. We believe that this book, produced by the US Federal Government, is in the public domain.)

Lesson Plans:

Ideas for Student Projects:

  • Photographic essay: Students begin by selecting 15 to 20 images that demonstrate either positive or negative aspects of life in the internment camps.
    Software that supports this type of photographic essay includes Microsoft Powerpoint and Photostory.
    Images should have captions and sources cited.
    Optional writing activity: Students can write an essay to explain what aspect of camp-life they are trying to show through the photographs.
  • Diary: Students write a diary that gives a general overview of the events leading up the internment, and what life was like inside the camps.
    Students can include photographs or drawings iwith the text.
  • Newspaper story: Individually or in groups, students create newspapers detailing different aspects of one particular camp. Articles should have headlines and pull quotes and can include photographs to accompany the articles, along with photo captions.
  • Government Press: Students write and then deliver a three-minute speech that announces the call to intern Japanese-Americans, and explains why this is necessary.
  • Children's Book: Students write text and illustrate a picture book of at least 5 pages to teach first through third graders.

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eXploration 1: The Decision to Intern Japanese Americans

Introduce this section with a video from the Prelinger Archives :

  • Japanese Relocation, a U.S. government-produced film (1943) defending the World War II internment of Japanese American citizens.
    Producer: U.S. Office of War Information
    Time: 9:26 minutes
  • A Challenge to Democracy (ca. 1944), a government-produced film attempting to defend the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II.
    Producer: U.S. War Relocation Authority
    Time: 17 minutes,


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eXploration 2: The Internment Experience

Inquiry Questions:

  • Does this episode in American history remind you of anything else?
  • Why are attitudes about this incident in history so drastically different today than they were almost 60 years ago?
  • What would you have done if you were a Japanese American living at the time?
  • What could the U.S. Government do to right the wrongs? Has it done enough?
  • Do you think racism toward Japanese Americans still exists today? Why or why not?

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eXploration 3: Internment and the Law

Supreme Court Decisions:

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