Farewell To Manzanar Unit Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

This ''Farewell to Manzanar'' unit of study will help your middle or high school students grasp the significance of Japanese internment camps. They will learn about camp life and be given time to process the related events and underlying issues.

Farewell to Manzanar

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston is an enlightening exploration of life before, during, and after Japanese internment in the 1940s. In this unit, upper middle or high school students will explore historical, societal, and literary themes in-depth. Contextualizing the novel at the start and wrapping up with real-world application will allow students to have a comprehensive experience with this work of literature. Students will know not only the facts of Japanese internment, but the deep and damaging emotions experienced by the victims. It's important to guide students through the novel step-by-step, providing opportunity for comprehension exercises and processing through discussion and writing.

Historical Context

Student understanding of the historical context of Farewell to Manzanar is essential in order to fully grasp the intricacies of the memoir. Before reading, build their background knowledge with these historical resources.

World War 2

Knowledge of the war that is the basis of political policy is important to understanding the novel. Use this U.S. Involvement in WWII Lesson Plan to familiarize students with the war and the role of the United States.

Isolationism was at the heart of government policies separating Japanese Americans from the rest of society. Challenge students with this Isolationism Lesson Plan to help them grasp the underlying sentiment behind the discriminatory procedures.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor ramps up the negative sentiment and spurs the United States government to take drastic action. Familiarize students with this event using this Pearl Harbor Lesson Plan. Alternatively, allow students to guide their own learning by incorporating these Pearl Harbor Gallery Walk Ideas to help them connect to the important aspects of this event.

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