Civil Liberties: What Are They? Who Needs Them?

Author: Abbie Martin

Suggested Grade Level(s): 8

Suggested Subject Area(s): History and/or English Language Arts

Number of Class Periods Required: 4 class periods (49 minutes per period)

Essential Question(s):
Civil Liberties: What Are They? Who Needs Them?

Teacher Overview:
This unit opens with selected readings from the novel Weedflower, written by Newbery Award–winning author Cynthia Kadohata. The selected passages are intended to give students insight into the emotions of individuals affected when the U.S. government incarcerated more than 110,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. This suspension of civil liberties is an important episode to understand when studying the U.S. Constitution.

Students will then work in groups to examine a variety of primary source documents related to the Japanese American World War II experience to create a poster in response to the unit’s essential question.

Download the entire “Civil Liberties: What Are They? Who Needs Them?” unit (6.2 MB)


Resources and References