Jade Crown, Orchard Elementary School, Davis School District
Sandy Early, Columbia Elementary School, Davis School District
Suggested Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6
Suggested Subject Area(s): Social Studies
Number of Class Periods Required: 8 class periods (45 minutes per period)
Enduring Understanding: Diversity in the United States helps democracy to function.
- Who is the “We” in “We, the People”?
- How does racism affect the American experience?
- Is it more important to have safety or liberty?
- What is the Topaz “Relocation Camp”?
This unit takes students on a journey following the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II. The journey begins with Pearl Harbor, continues with Japanese Americans being bused to Tanforan and then removed to Topaz, Utah, and concluding with them starting their lives over again. This unit underscores the understanding that Constitutional rights are for all Americans. Prior to this unit, fifth- and sixth-grade students should have already studied the three branches of the government and the Bill of Rights.
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)