Understanding Perspective: Japanese Society’s Impact on Japanese Guards | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U2:L4

Understanding Perspective: Japanese Society’s Impact on Japanese Guards

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to supporting ideas). (RI.8.2)
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of literary text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can analyze the connections and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events in a text. (RI.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze the development of the thematic concept "The Invisibility of Captives during WWII."
  • I can provide the strongest evidence from Unbroken as I analyze why some Japanese guards treated prisoners of war brutally during WWII.
  • I can analyze how the ideas of Japanese society contributed to how some Japanese guards treated prisoners of war during WWII

Ongoing Assessment

  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 189-197 (from homework)
  • Written Conversation
  • Exit ticket

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader :Dignity (10 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minute)

2. Work Time

A. Written Conversation: Understanding How Society Affects the individual (20 minutes)

B. Exit Tickets: Analyzing Theme (5 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Preview Homework (5 minute)

A. Homework

A. Read "The Life of Mine Okubo" and write the gist of what the text was about on the structured notes. (You will complete the rest of the structured notes after Lesson 5)

  • Students continue to address the question of how war affects individuals and societies. Primarily, they have studied how WWII affected Louie Zamperini. In this lesson, students study how the Japanese culture and society of that era affected Japanese guards who were in charge of prisoners of war. Since Louie's story hinges on the events described during his imprisonment in Japanese POW camps, this lesson seeks to provide students with background knowledge as to why prisoners were treated in such a manner. It is important to note that even Hillenbrand acknowledges Japanese guards who refused the status quo and treated prisoners with dignity, even at the risk of their own peril. The learning in this lesson is designed to provide some clarity to questions students may have about why some Japanese guards behaved with such brutality.
  • Note that students are only asked to complete the first part of "The Life of Mine Okubo" structured notes for homework. They complete the rest of their notes after Lesson 5.
  • Review: Written conversation (see Appendix).
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

resist

Materials

  • Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher (from Lesson 3)
  • Unbroken (book; one per student)
  • Written Conversation note-catcher (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Exit ticket (one per student)
  • "The Life of Mine Okubo" (one per student)
  • "The Life of Mine Okubo" structured notes (one per student)
  • "The Life of Mine Okubo" supported structured notes (optional; only for students who need more support)
  •  "The Life of Mine Okubo" Structured Notes Teacher Guide (for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Resisting Invisibility (10 minutes)

  • Have students sit with their Midway partners and take out their Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher. Draw students' attention to the second half of page 1. Explain that many times Louie and the other POWs resist the efforts of the Japanese guards to make them invisible.
  • Be sure students have their text, Unbroken. Remind them to open their texts to find evidence during their discussion. Have student pairs turn, talk, and write on the Gathering Textual Evidence note-catcher:

* "What instances did you see in the text when the POWs resisted efforts to make them invisible?"

  • Give students about 6 minutes to work in pairs. Circulate and provide support. If necessary, provide the example on page 182: "Once, driven to his breaking point by a guard jabbing him, Louie yanked the stick from the guard's hands. He knew he might get killed for it, but under this unceasing degradation, something was happening to him. His will to live, resilient through all of the trials on the raft, was beginning to fray." Explain that Louie's grabbing the stick from the guard was an extreme act of resisting being dehumanized.
  • Cold call students to share several examples of resisting invisibility.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Draw students' attention to the posted learning targets. Cold call a student to read aloud the first target:

* "I can analyze the development of the thematic concept, 'The Invisibility of Captives during WWII.'" 

  • Explain that the work they just did--identifying where Louie and the other POWs resisted efforts to make them invisible--was part of analyzing this thematic concept in the book.
  • Cold call a different student to read aloud the next two learning targets:

* "I can provide the strongest evidence from Unbroken as I analyze why some Japanese guards brutally treated prisoners of war during WWII."

* "I can analyze how the ideas of Japanese society contributed to how some Japanese guards treated prisoners of war during WWII."

  • Share with students that not all Japanese guards treated prisoners of war brutally. Many of the guards described in the book did treat Louie harshly. Explain that historians have studied why some guards were so harsh to prisoners of war. They discovered that the values of the Japanese society during that time affected the way some Japanese guards treated prisoners.
  • Explain that since they are studying the question of how war affects individuals and societies by specifically studying Louie's experiences in the book Unbroken, this aspect of the story is important to understand. Emphasize to students that that the mentality that it's okay to be awful to someone "lower" than you is not limited to the Japanese--this is a universal human failing, and one thing war does is accentuate universal human behaviors

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Written Conversation: Understanding How Society Affects the Individual (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the Written Conversation note-catcher and display a copy on the document camera. Remind students that in a written conversation, they will write simultaneous notes to their partner as they respond to questions about the text; they will swap note-catchers every 2 minutes for a total of two exchanges back and forth, keeping quiet along the way. They are to write for the whole time allotted for each note, putting down words, phrases, questions, connections, ideas, wonderings--anything related to the passage or responding to what their partner has said, just as they would in an out-loud conversation. Spelling and grammar do not count; these are just notes. However, these notes do need to be focused and text-based. Students may use their Unbroken texts as a reference.
  • Using a document camera, display Written Conversation prompt #1:

* "In the last paragraph on page 194, going on to the top of page 195, Hillenbrand describes one reason some Japanese guards may have been so brutal to POWs. What was this reason and why do you think it contributed to such brutality by some?"

  • Once the exchanges are done, cold call pairs to share an important observation or idea from their written conversation. Encourage other students to build off of those ideas in a classroom discussion.
  • Display the Written Conversation prompt #2:

* "In the first full paragraph on page 195, Hillenbrand describes the second reason some Japanese guards may have been brutal to POWs. What was this second reason, and how may have this reason contributed to such brutality by some?"

  • Once the exchanges are done, cold call pairs to share an important observation or idea from their written conversation. Encourage other students to build off those ideas in a classroom discussion. 
  • Reassure students who struggle with writing that the Written Conversation is meant to collect their ideas, questions, etc. and provide practice for putting these things down in writing.

B. Exit Ticket: Analyzing Theme (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the exit ticket prompt and have students answer independently in class.
  • Collect students' exit tickets as a formative assessment of their understanding of thematic concepts in Unbroken.
  • Using exit tickets allows you to get a quick check for understanding of the learning target so instruction can be tailored to students' needs.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Preview Homework (5 minutes)

  • Explain that meanwhile, on the home front, Japanese-Americans were facing captivity of a different sort. It was called "relocation" or "internment." Students will read the story of one Japanese-American who unexpectedly found herself facing "invisibility." 
  • Distribute "The Life of Mine Okubo" and the "The Life of Mine Okubo" structured notes, as well as "The Life of Mine Okubo supported structured notes as needed, keeping a copy of "The Life of Mine Okubo Structured Notes Teacher Guide (for teacher reference).

Homework

Homework
  • Read the "The Life of Mine Okubo" and write the gist of what the text was about on the structured notes.

Teaching Note: Read over the exit tickets collected at the end of class and be prepared to address any misconceptions during the next lesson.

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