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.

Essential Questions:

  • 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?

Teacher Overview:
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.

Download the entire “Lessons from Topaz: Have We Really Learned Them?” unit (4.3 MB)


Resources and References