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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 3-5

77 articles

Executive Order 9066: 50 Years Before and 50 Years After (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Evils of racism, Injustice, Displacement
  • Limited availability

Exhibition on the Japanese American experience in the Seattle area mounted by the Wing Luke Asian Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. The exhibition was organized, scripted, and constructed largely by volunteer community members and was accompanied by an exhibition catalog authored by David Takami.

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Japanese American Journey: The Story of a People (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • History, Children's
  • Empowerment, Fulfillment, Heartbreak of betrayal, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Progress – real or illusion
  • Available

Overview work for children on the Japanese American experience produced by the Japanese American Curriculum Project (JACP) in 1985. Consisting of a historical overview, eleven biographies of notable Japanese Americans, and three short stories, Japanese American Journey was adapted from a 1970 JACP publication titled Japanese Americans: The Untold Story.

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Mendez v. Westminster: For All the Children (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Change versus tradition, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Children's picture book that tells in simplified form the story of the landmark Mendez case that ultimately ended segregated schools in California. The story is told through the perspective of Sylvia Mendez who is eight years old in 1943. Having rented the farm of Munemitsu family, who had been forcibly removed to concentration camps, they were new to Westminster, California. When she and her brothers are prohibited from attending the same school as her cousins (who can pass as "white") and must attend the inferior school for those of Mexican, African or Asian ancestry, her family decides to sue. With the help of lawyer David C. Marcus—and support from various organizations including the Japanese American Citizens League—the suit proves successful, ending segregation in the state. A brief epilogue notes the long-term impact of the case and the fate of Sylvia and others involved in it.

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A Lesson in American History: The Japanese American Experience, Curriculum and Resource Guide, 5th Edition (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fear of other, Injustice, Rights, War

Created by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), this 150-page guide for teachers is a comprehensive resource focused on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. It provides historical information, a timeline, an annotated listing of K-12 resource materials (books, audio and visual works, websites, museum exhibits, agencies and organizations), K-6 and 7-12 lesson plans, and an appendix of various primary source materials. The content also covers other historic events when the government restricted the rights of individual citizens in favor of national security, including the story of Arab and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

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Japanese American Internment Camps (Children's Press) (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, History
  • Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Available

Short overview book for younger children on the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans that is part of Children's Press's "Cornerstones of Freedom," Second Series of books.

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Best Friends Forever: A World II Scrapbook (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Everlasting love, Family – blessing or curse, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Children's book about the friendship between a German American girl and her forcibly removed Japanese American friend in the form of a scrapbook from the year 1942.

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A Place Where Sunflowers Grow (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Darkness and light, Empowerment, Expression through art, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Children's picture book by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino about Mari, a young Japanese American girl in Topaz, an American concentration camp during World War II. As the book begins, she plants sunflower seeds in the desert soil, hoping they will grow like the sunflowers in their old backyard. She recalls their prewar home, where she lived with her older brother and artist parents. At Topaz, she goes with her father to the art school he started. Initially unable to draw anything in the children's class, she slowly starts to find things to draw with the help of a supportive teacher, her father, and her new friend Aiko. After drawing a picture of her barrack with the sunflowers growing tall in front, she returns home to find little sunflower seedlings, giving her hope for the future. A final page provides biographies of the author and illustrator and some ...

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Baseball Saved Us (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Sports, Picture book
  • Character - destruction, building up, Fear of failure
  • Widely available

Popular and acclaimed children's picture book written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee about the concentration camps and their aftermath through the prism of baseball.

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The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Injustice, Loss of innocence
  • Widely available

Novel for elementary and middle schoolers about a young white teenage girl's experience of World War II including the Japanese American removal and incarceration told in the form of a diary. The Fences Between Us is part of the Dear America series, all of which are written in the form of diaries by young women/girls from various key moments in U.S. history.

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What, No Sushi? My Solar-Powered History at a Japanese-American Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Injustice, Power of the past, Family – blessing or curse
  • Widely available

Book aimed at elementary school children about three young brothers from Alaska who take a time machine to experience the mass exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II with their great-grandmother in California.

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The Experience of Japanese Americans in the United States: A Teacher Resource Manual (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Pre-K, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Knowledge versus ignorance, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

The Advisory Council to the Ethnic Heritage Project of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) developed, printed and distributed this manual in 1975. It was one of the first efforts to provide K–12 instructional materials about the history and achievements of Japanese Americans in the United States. The aim of the manual was to counter existing teaching materials which contained information that "portray(ed) persons of Japanese ancestry in a distorted or stereotypic fashion" (page 6). In addition, the authors sought to see Japanese Americans represented in the educational system's instructional framework of cultural pluralism.

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The Japanese American Internment: An Interactive History Adventure (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, History
  • Displacement, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Available

Children's book on the wartime incarceration by Rachael Hanel that allows the reader to choose one of three stories and to make a series of decisions in each story that determines its outcome.

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The Bracelet (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 3-5, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Limited availability

Short educational film that demonstrates the use of a popular children's book in an elementary school classroom. Patty Nagano, a teacher at Bret Harte Elementary School in the Alhambra, California, School District, begins by asking the class—which appears to consist of second or third graders—if they have experienced someone close to them moving away and listens as several children talk about their memories of such an experience. She then briefly explains what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II and reads the Yoshiko Uchida book The Bracelet to the class. As she reads, images of the class and Joanna Yardley's illustrations are augmented by archival photographs of the mass removal and incarceration, along with sound effects. After finishing the book, Nagano engages the class in a series of activities: asking them for their initial reactions to the book and answering questions about her and her family's experience; showing the ...

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Pride and Shame (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Immigrant experience, Evils of racism, Injustice
  • No availability

Early exhibition on the history of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest that was one of the first to highlight the wartime incarceration experience. After its 1970 debut at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle, Washington, a traveling version of Pride and Shame followed that toured numerous venues over the next five years. It was among several key exhibitions that reflected a growing consciousness about the incarceration from this time period.

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Japanese American Internment: Fear Itself (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Displacement, Injustice, Rights-individual or societal, War-glory, necessity, pain, tragedy

Published on the Library of Congress (LOC) website, this lesson plan incorporates primary source materials about the World War II Japanese American incarceration in five classroom activities projected to take 1-2 weeks. The primary sources used are largely historic photographs from the LOC American Memory collection featuring the removal of Japanese Americans, and President Roosevelt signing the declaration of war. In addition, there are profiles of two Japanese American veterans from the LOC American Folklife Center - Veterans History Project which includes oral history interviews and transcripts, historic photos, and related documents. An online tool allows teachers to search by grade level and subject to see how this lesson addresses standards (Common Core, State Content, Organization).

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American Dreams (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Historical Fiction, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Coming of age, Injustice, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Available

Chapter book for children about two eleven-year-old girls in Hollywood, one white and one Japanese American, in the weeks just before and just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Months of Waiting, 1942-1945 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through Art, Displacement, Injustice
  • No availability

The first group exhibition of art created in the wartime concentration camps. Produced by the California Historical Society in 1972 as a companion to its Executive Order 9066 photographic exhibition, Months of Waiting toured several venues from 1972 to 1974.

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Chicago Goes to War, 1941-1945 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Importance of community
  • No availability

1992–93 exhibition at the Chicago Historical Society on the impact of World War II on Chicago. Among the topics covered in the exhibition is the resettlement in the Chicago area of Japanese Americans from wartime concentration camps. It was one of several major local exhibitions that appeared around the 50th anniversary of World War II and that included aspects of the local Japanese American story.

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The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Historical fiction, Children's
  • Coming of age, Displacement, Identity crisis
  • Available

A Japanese American boy is forcibly removed from his home in Southern California and incarcerated in a concentration camp but learns important life lessons through continuing to play baseball.

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We the People: The Stage Production (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence, Power of tradition
  • Available

Short film that documents the performance of the elementary school age students of Jan Ken Po Gakko in Sacramento on July 20, 2000. The production is highlighted by a play performed by the students based on Mary Tsukamoto and Elizabeth Pinkerton's book We the People.

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Nihonjin Face (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Circle of life, Evils of racism, Progress – real or illusion, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Short play for school audiences by Janet Hayakawa and Tere Martínez that juxtaposes the Japanese American incarceration with the Civil Rights Movement and anti-immigrant sentiment in the present.

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Sights Unseen: The Photographic Constructions of Masumi Hayashi (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through art
  • Available

Retrospective exhibition of the work of photographic collage artist Masumi Hayashi held at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Curated by Karin Higa, Sights Unseen included thirty of Hayashi's works—each of which are photo collages consisting of anywhere from five to one hundred forty individual photographs—including several from JANM's collection. This first survey of Hayashi's work included pieces from five different sets of work: abandoned prisons, EPA Superfund sites, Japanese American and Japanese Canadian concentration camps, sacred sites, and portraits of Nikkei. The five Nikkei portraits—of Fumi Hayashida, Yuri Kochiyama, Joy Kogawa, Miné Okubo, and Eji Suyama—were displayed for the first time.

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Blue Jay in the Desert (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Quest for discovery, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Blue Jay in the Desert by Marlene Shigekawa and illustrated by Isao Kikuchi is a children's picture book about how the gift of a hand-carved wooden blue jay symbolizes the love and hope a grandfather gives to his grandson.

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The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art, History
  • Expression through art, Displacement, Injustice
  • Limited availability

The first-ever national exhibition of more than 130 paintings and other works of art produced by Japanese American artists during their incarceration in the World War II American concentration camps, timed to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the mass incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans. The exhibition was curated by Karin Higa and jointly coordinated by the Japanese American National Museum, the UCLA Wight Art Gallery, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. It first opened at the Wight Art Gallery in Los Angeles on October 13, 1992, and ran until December 6, 1992, then subsequently traveled to the San Jose Museum of Art (January 15-April 10, 1994), Salt Lake Art Center (July 1994), Honolulu Academy of Arts (September 1994), and the Queens Museum New York (May 11-July 16, 1995).

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Fish for Jimmy (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Growing up - pain or pleasure, Heroism - real and perceived, Family - blessing or curse
  • Widely available

Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family's Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp, written and illustrated by Katie Yamasaki, is based on the author's great-grandfather's family experience at the Granada camp in Amache, Colorado. This picture book for young readers which expresses in few words an older brother's act of kindness and daring that kept a family strong during their imprisonment.

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