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Japanese American Relocation Archives

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive Lesson Plans

These teacher-created lesson plans for grades 4-12 are all built on artwork and writing by Estelle Ishigo, a European American painter who chose to be incarcerated with her Japanese American husband, Arthur, in Wyoming's Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Use these lesson plans just as they are, or as springboards for your own creative ideas. Each lesson plan aligns with specific California Content Standards, and can be printed as a Word or PDF file for ease of use.

Views and Voices from Within: The Art and Writing of Estelle Ishigo, Heart Mountain Relocation Center, 1942-1945

Grade: 4-5
Students reflect on Ishigo's artwork to see an internee’s view of life inside the camps, and learn how internees lived and made a home under incredibly constrained circumstances.

Are We Americans Again? A Portrait of Japanese American Internment

Grade: 6-8
Students reflect on Ishigo's artwork and personal writing to develop a sense of historical understanding of the internees' experiences during and after internment. The unit also defines and describes basic human rights and the role of an American citizen.

Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Relocation Camp Experience of Estelle Ishigo

Grade: 6-8
Students reflect on Ishigo’s personal letters, artwork, and official documents to relate the themes of tolerance and prejudice to the era, understand that media plays a part in propaganda, and learn how artists convey thoughts and emotions through art.

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Teaching and Learning with Primary Sources

George Mason University:

World History Matters

Library of Congress:

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