logo with image of child leaving for camp
Time of Remembrance World History Lesson Plan
By Jan Collins



To review standards, see the California Department of Education’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ .

10.8     Students analyze the causes and consequences of World War II.
10.8.6  Discuss the human costs of the war, with particular attention to the civilian and military losses in Russia, Germany, Britain, the United States, China, and Japan.

TIME REQUIRED: 90 minutes


  • “Here, In America?” 14 minute DVD with testimonials on how Japanese
    Americans, German Americans & Italian Americans were treated during WWII in the US

  • Video Clips from the TOR Website

  • Photographs from the TOR Website


By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

  • Students will be able to define the terms Issei and Nissei.
  • Students will be able to see how the actions of the US government during WWII
    affected individual people’s lives through the testimonies on the DVD and the TOR
    video clips.
  • Students will know what executive order 9066 was about.
  • Students will understand that the way American citizens with Japanese ancestry were treated under executive order 9066 was a violation of the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution which guarantees that citizens cannot be deprived of their life, liberty or property with out due process of law.
  • Students will reflect on how people of specific ethnic groups are being treated now in the US because of the war on terror and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.



  1. Why were the majority of US citizens placed in internment camps during WWII
    of Japanese descent?
  2. 2. How were people’s lives affected by the internment, in the short run and in the
    long run?
  3. 3. How can we keep ourselves from repeating the mistakes made in the past?



Japanese along with other Asian Immigrant groups had long been viewed with suspicion in the United States. The Chinese were the first group who had experienced violence and discrimination when they arrived in the US during the Gold Rush. Article 19 of
the California state constitution legalized discrimination against the Chinese when it gave cities the right to expel or segregate them and to restrict them from certain jobs. Other laws prohibited the Chinese from becoming citizens or voting. They could not attend school with whites, marry whites, or testify in court against whites. In 1884 Japanese began to come to the US with encouragement from the US government to ease a labor shortage in the agricultural sector of the economy.  The Japanese immigrants were known as Issei. When the Japanese started buying property and becoming prosperous whites began discriminating against them as they had against the Chinese. In 1924, the Asian Exclusion Act prohibited Japanese from becoming US citizens. The children of these people who were born in the US were American citizens and were known as Nissei. The Issei and Nissei were discriminated against, segregated and stereotyped as evil. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, over 2,000 Japanese Americans men were arrested. Not one of them was ever charged with a crime, but most were sent to relocation camps for the duration of the war.

While no Japanese Americans living in Hawaii were put into relocation camps, over 120,000 were placed in internment camps on the mainland. This was due not to the fact that the US government viewed them as a threat to security, but rather because the government was lobbied fiercely by the anti Japanese groups that had previously viewed them as an economic threat. Now they were using the media to spread fear of the “Yellow Peril” and what they wanted was for all Japanese to be removed from California, Oregon and Washington states.

Executive Order 9066 allowed them to do that. Japanese Americans were given the news that they could only take with them what they could carry and had to leave their homes and businesses behind.  In most cases they had less than a week to make arrangements for the sale or rent of their property before they were forced to leave. While some were fortunate to be able to store their possessions and return to their homes after the war, most sold their property or had it confiscated by the government as alien property.  As the majority, were farmers, they lost the crops that they had to leave before they could be harvested. Many who returned after years in internment found their homes and possessions vandalized. Their civil rights were violated and many were imprisoned for years without ever being charged with a crime. Violation of 5th & 6th Amendments to the US Constitution.


Students will watch the 2nd video clip of Jerry Enomoto, 2minutes.  He describes the effect of Executive order 9066. He talks about being told they could only bring what they could carry. After this the students will be asked to reflect on what they would bring and why they would choose those things over all of their other possessions. Give the students 10 minutes to write about it. Follow with a class discussion about it for 5 minutes. Then have them listen to Kiyo Sato video clip 2, clip 3, and clip 11 as to the family’s preparations,  what her father packed for the “Big Trip” and how it was used, 7 minutes.

Explain to the students how the Japanese came to be living in America and how they had been treated up to this point in US history. Define the terms Issei and Nissei. Discuss the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 and that it denied
Japanese immigrants (Issei) the right of citizenship, 5 minutes.


Use the video clips and the pictures from the Time of Remembrance website to tell the story of the short and long term effects of the internment on the people living in the camps. While showing the pictures and after each video clip the class would be encouraged to ask questions and make observations about the people they are listening to and the pictures.


1. Have the students watch the following video clips: Frank Kageta to show how discrimination existed before WWII, video clip 2, 1:38 minutes.

2. Show the Joyce Takahashi family photos slideshow to give the students and understanding of what her life was like before the internment. (4 minutes)

3. Show Joyce Takahashi video clip 4 in which she talks about going to the internment camp called Topaz, 1:19 minutes. Shows how the camps were secret from the general public. She mentions her parents spent time in the hospitals, people worked in the camps.

4. Jack Uyeyama talks about the wages for the workers in the camps and how it wasn’t enough to pay for their mortgages so they lost their homes in video clip 6, 1:12 minutes.

5. Share the high school year book photos of Jack Uyeyama to show what life was like in the camps for students their own age. (4 minutes)

6. Show them the 2nd video clip of Ken Ouchida about how he felt about the camp and how he was treated at Elk Grove High School after the war, 2:40 minutes. This would cover the short term effects. Next, material to show the long term effects.

7. Explain that the Japanese Americans were not the only people in the internment camps during WWII and then show them the video,“Here, In America?” 14 minutes.

8. The 2nd video clip of Lester Ouchida shows the long term effects on his father, 3 minutes.

9. Jerry Enomoto’s video clip 4 discusses the Redress bill of 1988. $20,000 per living survivor, 4:47 minutes.

10. Jack Uyeyama video clip 8, 2:04 minutes and Heidi Sakazaki video clip #4, 58 seconds both talk about how they feel about our country and our constitution.



Each student should be assigned one of the people on the Time of Remembrance website http://www.bestnetsacramento.org/tor/ and instructed to view their pictures and video clips and write a 1 page biography of their person including the following information:

person’s place of birth   size of family
profession of parents  how they reacted to Executive order 9066
which camp they went to and how they got there

what became of them and their parents after the war

events that happened in the camp

did they lose their home or get it back






There will be an item on the test covering internment.

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