The World War II Japanese American Experience: Political Cartoons and Artwork
Jennifer Baker, Syracuse Junior High School, Davis School District
Cathleen Edwards, South Davis Junior High School, Davis School District
Suggested Grade Level(s): 7, 8
Suggested Subject Area(s): United States History and Utah Studies
Number of Class Periods Required: 8 to 9 class periods (45 minutes per period), plus additional time for the creation of museum exhibits
Enduring Understanding: Diversity in the United States helps democracy to function.
- What is the Topaz “Relocation Camp”?
- Is it more important to have safety or liberty?
- How does racism affect the American experience?
- How do communities endure?
- Who is the “We” in “We, the People”?
- What is the process of social justice?
This unit is designed to teach students about the World War II Japanese American experience by examining political cartoons and artwork from that period, thus providing additional insight into the complexities of the Japanese American World War II experience. The final lesson in this unit encourages the class to partner with a community organization to create and display museum exhibits about the Japanese American experience.
- Unit Map (1.6 MB)
- Lesson 1: History of Japanese Americans Prior to and During World War II (194 KB)
- Lesson 2: Illustrated Vocabulary for the Japanese American Experience during World War II (193 KB)
- Lesson 3: Propaganda Against Japanese Americans Prior to and During World War II (199 KB)
- Lesson 4: Artwork of Topaz (1.2 MB)
- Lesson 5: Museum Exhibits about the Japanese American Experience (209 KB)
Resources and References
- Terminology and the Japanese American Experience (48 KB)
- Map of Japanese American Confinement Sites in the United States During World War II (1 MB)
- Media related to the Project’s Curricular Units
- “Japanese Americans in the Interior West: A Regional Perspective on the Enduring Nikkei Historical Experience in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah (and Beyond)” Essay and Timeline (968 KB)
- “Japanese Americans in Arizona: An Overview” Essay and Timeline (108 KB)
- “Japanese Americans in Colorado: An Overview” Essay and Timeline (80 KB)
- “Japanese Americans in New Mexico: An Overview” Essay and Timeline (84 KB)
- “Japanese Americans in Texas: An Overview” Essay and Timeline (84 KB)
- “Japanese Americans in Utah: An Overview” Essay and Timeline (88 KB)
- Selected Bibliography (124 KB)
- Acknowledgements (84 KB)