Lessons from Topaz: Have We Really Learned Them?
Author: David Seiter, M.Ed., Northridge High School, Davis School District
Suggested Grade Level(s): 11
Suggested Subject Area(s): United States History
Number of Class Periods Required: 5 to 6 class periods (85 minutes per period)
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 do communities endure?
- What is the process of social justice?
This unit is designed to provide a better understanding of life in the U.S. concentration camp located at Topaz, Utah. Through discussions and analysis of artwork and literature, students will examine the complexities of the seemingly basic concepts of “community” and “heroes.” The students will compile their assignments into a Topaz scrapbook, which will be used as the final assessment.
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)