In this module, students explore the topic of Japanese American internment. As in previous modules, in Lesson 1 of Unit 1, students discover the topic by examining multiple artifacts. They are then introduced to the culminating performance task and the guiding questions of the module (What were the causes and impacts of Japanese American internment camps? What are the main lessons that can be learned from Japanese American internment? How can people effectively apply the lessons of internment to their own communities?). In the second lesson, students begin reading their anchor text, Farewell to Manzanar, a literary memoir that chronicles the experiences of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and her family before, during, and after the incarceration of Japanese Americans in internment camps by the US government during World War II. Throughout the unit, they track connections and distinctions among individuals, ideas, and events in the text and answer selected and constructed response questions about vocabulary and language to consider meaning in the text. This work prepares students for the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment. Additionally, students are introduced to the film adaptation of Farewell to Manzanar in Lesson 4, in which they watch the first of four segments of the film and begin to track the extent to which the film Farewell to Manzanar stays faithful to or departs from the text.
In the second half of the unit, students continue to read Farewell to Manzanar while tracking connections and distinctions in the text. Students also continue to watch the film adaptation of Farewell to Manzanar and analyze how the film stays faithful to and departs from the text. Students focus their analysis on how the film portrays significant ideas from the text, including the ways in which Jeanne and her family members are impacted by internment. This work helps to prepare students for the literary argument essay they will write in Unit 2. Students also review past experiences with collaborative discussions in earlier modules and engage in practice that targets relevant speaking and listening skills in advance of a collaborative discussion during the End of Unit 1 Assessment. During the assessment, students synthesize their learning in the unit by engaging in a QuickWrite before participating in a discussion centered on the following question: what were the causes and impacts of Japanese American internment camps?
Please note: For the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum, there are Teaching Notes for each unit that contain helpful information for supporting English language learners. These overview notes complement the more specific English language learner supports and differentiated materials within each lesson. You will find the Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.