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Farewell to Manzanar Educational Kit (curricula)

Creators: The <i>Farewell to Manzanar</i> Education Initiative


In 2003, the Farewell to Manzanar Education Initiative distributed 10,000 copies of the Farewell to Manzanar Educational Kit to California public schools and public libraries. The kit consists of the book, Farewell to Manzanar and Related Readings (1998), a teaching guide for the book (1998), a VHS cassette of the Farewell to Manzanar made-for-television movie (1976) with an additional 35-minute classroom version, and a video study guide (2002). Separate elements of the kit are available for purchase (except for the video study guide).

The book in this kit is published by McDougal Littell and includes the complete Farewell to Manzanar memoir by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, which tells the World War II Japanese American incarceration story through the eyes of a then seven-year old, Wakatsuki. The book also includes related literary selections which serve to compare and contrast concepts of perspective, setting, conflict, and genre; and to address themes of identity, racism, discrimination, and forced migration. Related readings include:

from Legends from Camp - poems by Lawson Fusao Inada

Sleep in the Mojave Desert – poem by Sylvia Plath

I Remember Pearl Harbor: Dealing with the "Problem Race" – essay by Charles Shiro Inouye

Wilshire Bus – short story by Hisaye Yamamoto

Trains at Night – short story by Alberto Alvaro Rios

Visiting Home – poem by Kevin Young

from Unto the Sons – memoir by Gay Talese

Lectures on How You Never Lived Back Home – short story by M. Evelina Galang

The Literature Connections Source Book also published by McDougal Littell, is the teacher's companion piece to the student text. Most of the source book is for the teacher with summaries of the literature, background information on Farewell to Manzanar and its authors, along with excerpts from literary criticism, and an overview of literary concepts including: setting, irony, and conflict. There are discussion starters and writing prompts for all of the literature included in the text. For those interested in developing this into a complete curriculum unit, ideas for culminating writing assignments, multimodal projects, cross-curricular projects are listed along with suggestions for assessment, and a listing of additional resources. The balance of the source book is handouts and worksheets (reproducible) for students to give them background information, explain references, and define key vocabulary.

The "Farewell to Manzanar" Video Study Guide supports the 35-minute segmented version located at the end of the full-length version of the video on a VHS video cassette. It was developed by Jenny Chomori, Richard Katsuda and Esther Taira, produced by the California Teachers Association and printed by the United Teachers of Los Angeles in 2002. The 35-minute version of the video was created to fit into a class period. Prior to screening in the classroom, the authors encourage setting the historical context of the story, and taking time to debrief after viewing the video. The eight segments of the video focus on the human impact of forced removal and incarceration.

1. Pre-War, before December 1941

2. Bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

3. Order to Move and Leaving Home, April 24, 1942

4. Removal and Incarceration, travel to Manzanar and first days in camp

5. Military Interrogation of Ko, mid-1942 at Fort Lincoln, North Dakota

6. Ko Rejoins the Family, December 1942

7. Teddy and Rich Join the Army, 1943 or 1944

8. Closing of Camp, 1945

The video study guide provides suggested questions for each segment. Also included in the guide: a listing of relevant California history-social science and English-language arts standards, student reading-historical/video background information, a glossary, a map activity (handout), and a listing of additional resources and websites. There is also one page that serves to connect the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Farewell to Manzanar Education Kit was made possible through a partnership of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of the State of California, the California Teachers Association (CTA), the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project of the California State Library, the Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, California Japanese American Community Leadership Council, Universal Studios, and McDougal Littell.

Authored by Janet Hayakawa , Densho
For More Information

For More Information

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston. Farewell to Manzanar and Related Readings. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell Inc., 1998.

Literature Connections SourceBook: Farewell to Manzanar and Related Readings. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell Inc., 1998.

DVD of film Japanese American National Museum, $24.95. https://janmstore.com/products/farewell-to-manzanar-dvd .