Human Rights and the Japanese Internment Experience

The Human Rights and the Japanese Internment Experience makes an excellent topic for an interdisciplinary, thematic unit or series of literature circles. The project could be done inconjunction with other WWII units such as the Holocaust. You could also incorporate other civil and legal rights units. Fear, prejudice, and racism are other related topics.

Click the covers for information from Amazon.

Title: Farewell to Manzanar
Author: Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston
Publisher: Bantam, 1983 (reissued)
ISBN: 0553272586
Ages: 14-18
Summary: This book explores the themes of racism and the civil rights of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Teacher Resources: Farewell to Manzanar Unit

Title: Only What We Could Carry
Editor: Lawson Fusao Inada
Publisher: Heyday Books, 2000
ISBN: 1890771309
Ages: 14-adult
Summary: This nonfiction book tells the story of the Japanese Internment is told through poetry, prose, autobiography, biography, news accounts, government documents, letters, and other primary resources.

Title: The Moved Outers
Author: Florence Crannell Means
Publisher: Mifflin, 1945
ISBN: 0395069335
Ages: 12-15
Summary: This Newbery Honor book tells the story of a high school student moving through a series of relocation camps.

Title: So Far From the Sea
Author: Eve Bunting
Publisher: Clarion, 1998
ISBN: 0395720958
Ages: 5-9
Summary: This easy book tells the story of life in Manzanar as told in flashbacks at the site. This is a good alternative for those needing an easier book.

Title: The Bracelet
Author: Yoshiko Uchida
Publisher: Paper Star, 1996
ISBN: 069811390X
Ages: 4-8
Summary: An easy book about the lose of a bracelet while living in a Japanese Internment camp.
Book Ideas: Lesson 1, Lesson 2

Related Books
The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito by Sheila Garrigue
The Invisible Thread by Yoshiko Uchida
The Journal of Ben Uchida - My Name is America Book
Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida

Technology Connections
Try some of the following activities using the software in your classroom, lab, or library:
  • KidPix or Paint Software. Draw a diagram of the camp based on the book's description or your imagination. Compare this to the actual location.
  • Kidspiration or Inspiration. Create a diagram showing the relationships among characters in the book.
  • Word Processor. Write a story that extends your book. Write about a chance meeting between characters of one or more books.
  • Email. Conduct an email interview with someone who lived in an internment or relocation camp during WWII.

Internet Connections
Thematic Starting Points
42eXplore: Japanese-American Internment
A Personal Account
Camp Harmony Exhibit
The Camps
Dear Ms. Breed Letters
Densho Project
Heart Mountain
Japanese Internment Camps
Mountain Mountain
War Relocation Photographs
Teacher Resources and WebQuests
Internment of Japanese
Related Words

Japanese culture

World War II





legal rights

civil rights



family separation


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Created by Annette Lamb. 01/02.