The World War II Japanese American Experience: Political Cartoons and Artwork

Authors:
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.

Essential Questions:

  • 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?

Teacher Overview:
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.

Download the entire “The World War II Japanese American Experience: Political Cartoons and Artwork” unit (5.3 MB)

Lessons

Resources and References