Camp Harmony

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Japanese Internment
Posted by: Krenk, Laura
Grade Level: All
1. Internment Camps
2. Racial discrimination
3. World War II
The student will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key terms as outlined in the text 2. Analyze why Japanese-Americans were sent to Internment Camps 3. Speculate why German-Americans and Italian-Americans were not sent to Internment Camps 4. Visualize what an Internment Camp looks like

5. Relate to students of the same age by interpreting the emotions expressed by seventh graders sent to Japanese Internment Camps Intro Set:
In their notebooks, have students answer the following scenario: “The government says that you and your family need to move to support the war effort. You have been given two hours and one small suitcase to gather all of your belongings before you leave. What would you take with you if you knew you would never see your home again?” Meterial:

1. Letters of interned students located at Japanese Internment Letters. 2. Overhead projector; transparency sheets and overhead pens 3. (If students do not have notebooks for daily assignments) Paper for students to use to complete their anticipatory set, notes, etc. Process:

1. After a short discussion of the anticipatory set, have students break into seven small groups. You may want to create these groups yourself. 2. Assign each group one of the letters. Have them complete the following questions as a group: a. How does this letter make you feel?

b. What emotions does the writer express in the letter?
c. What do you think this person’s life was like during World War Two? d. Why do you think Japanese-Americans were forced to go to Internment Camps, and not German- or Italian-Americans? 3. Have each group trade letters for the duration of the activity, so that they may read as many primary source documents as possible. 4. To conclude, lead a discussion as to what the students felt about the activity. Then, have them complete the assessment activity. Advice:

This activity requires the teacher to set-up expectations prior to the activity. It is suggested that the teacher use this activity in classrooms that have done group work, and are used to moving around in the classroom. Provide students with copies of the letters located at Letters of interned students located at Japanese Internment Letters.

Camp Harmony, Washington (Japanese-American Internment Camp located in Puyallup, Washington, near Seattle, Washington) Summary:
This activity can be expanded depending on the needs of the curriculum. This activity is primarily used to understand the feelings of young people forced to relocate to Internment Camps. Some background information: · The letters were written to Ella C. Evanson who taught seventh grade at George Washington Junior High School in Seattle, Washington · Letters 1, 2, 3, and 4 were written in Miss Evanson’s autograph book before the students left · Letters 5, 6, and 7 were written from Camp Harmony, the Internment Camp located at Puyallup, Washington · Conditions in the camps were very poor. Japanese-Americans slept in beds filled with straw, lined-up for hours in order to receive meals, and had very little to do within the camps to keep themselves busy. · The majority of the people sent to Japanese Internment Camps were United States citizens Activities:

Have students create a postcard in their notebook, and write a letter as if they were a student sent to an Internment Camp. Require students to use information gathered in class, and encourage students to use artistic flair as appropriate. Notes:

For classrooms where moving about the room and working in partners is not cohesive to the learning environment, you can read the letters aloud while the students take notes in their notebooks. Internet:

The History Channel (
National Council for the Social...
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