Becoming Visible Again: Finding Freedom and Recovering Life | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U3

Becoming Visible Again: Finding Freedom and Recovering Life

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In this third unit, students will finish reading Unbroken and study the transition of the imprisoned or interned from "invisible" to "visible" after release. Students will briefly research Mine Okubo's life after internment and then write a narrative in which they tell the story of Okubo's journey from "invisible" during internment to becoming "visible" post-internment. For the mid-unit assessment, students will submit their single-draft narrative. For the end of unit assessment, students will complete a narrative techniques assessment in which they determine the effectiveness of various language techniques. Finally, for the final performance task, students will share their narrative with a small group of students and reflect upon their research-based narrative writing piece.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How does war (and conflict) affect individuals and societies?
  • How can individuals become visible again?
  • There are important yet divergent experiences in war and conflict.

Content Connections

NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum:

3. Time, Continuity, and Change

  • Reading, reconstructing, and interpreting events
  • Analyzing causes and consequences of events and developments
  • Considering competing interpretations of events

6. Power, Authority and Governance

  • Origins, uses, and abuses of power
  • Conflict, diplomacy, and war

10. Global Connections and Exchange

  • Past, current, and likely future global connections and interactions
  • Cultural diffusion, the spread of ideas, beliefs, technology, and goods
  • Benefits/consequences of global interdependence (social, political, economic)
  • Tension between national interests and global priorities



Texts and Resources to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.

Text or Resource Quantity ISBNs
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
One per student
ISBN: ​9780812974492

Optional: Community, Experts, Fieldwork, Service, and Extensions


  • Collaborate with the social studies teacher during this unit, as students build background knowledge about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the social and cultural influences of Japan on the Japanese soldier.
  • Invite World War II historians, veterans, or previously interned Japanese-Americans to visit and provide students with compelling and interesting stories and experiences about the Pacific Theater in World War II and Japanese-American internment.

Students may study the local monuments, the service of local community members who were involved in World War II, and any local connections to the internment of Japanese-Americans.

Students may organize a community benefit or event to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans in their community.

Consider using the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources as a resource for World War II and Japanese internment.

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