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Japanese American Relocation Archives

Lesson Plan: Are We Americans Again?
A Portrait of Japanese American Internment

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Creator: Annette Janeway

Grade Level Recommendation: 6, 7, and 8

Unit Overview: Artist Estelle Ishigo, the European American wife of a Japanese American, was among the American citizens forced out of California during World War II. Ishigo and her husband, Arthur, were first sent to Pomona Assembly Center and later to Heart Mountain Relocation Center, in a remote area of Wyoming. There, Estelle Ishigo continued her work as a painter. Students reflect on Ishigo's artwork and personal writing to develop a sense of historical understanding of the internees' experiences during and after incarceration. The unit also defines and describes basic human rights and the role of an American citizen.

This lesson plan was originally created at the UCLA Institute on Primary Resources.

Primary source materials used in this lesson plan include:

Letter from Ruth Wong to Estelle Ishigo, May 12, 1942 Boarding the truck to leave Heart Mountain, 1942 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5
1. Letter from Ruth Wong to Estelle Ishigo, May 12, 1942
2. Estelle Ishigo. Boarding the Truck to Leave Heart Mountain, 1942
3. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 5
Evacuees Behind Fence, c. 1942-45 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 6 Estelle Ishigo. Heart Mountain. Wyoming. c. 1942-45
4. Evacuees Behind Fence, c. 1942-45
5. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 6
6. Estelle Ishigo. Heart Mountain, Wyoming, c. 1942-45
Estelle Ishigo Pencil drawing, 'Windstorm in Heart Mountain Cemetery.' Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 13 At home at Heart Mountain, December 1942
7. Estelle Ishigo. Windstorm in Heart Mountain Cemetery, c. 1942-45
8. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 13
9. At Home at Heart Mountain, December 1942
Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 20 Japanese American woman and child, internees, between 1942 and 1945 Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 19
10. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 20
11. Estelle Ishigo. Japanese American Woman and Child Internees, c. 1942-45
12. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 19
The last of Heart Mountain, November 9, 1945 Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 39 Cal Seafood Fish Cannery, August 1948
13. Estelle Ishigo. The Last of Heart Mountain, November 9, 1945
14. Estelle Ishigo. Lone Heart Mountain ms., page 39
15. Estelle Ishigo. Cal Seafood Fish Cannery, August 1948
Are we Americans again?, between 1942 and 1945
no photograph no photograph
16. Estelle Ishigo. Are We Americans Again? February 1945