Civil Liberties Curriculum

The lesson plans offered here help teachers lead students to examine critical issues affecting our democracy in both the past and present: individual rights in wartime, the role of news media and other sources of information, and the protections promised by the U.S. Constitution and our system of government. The lessons align with Washington or Idaho state standards and are adaptable to other states’ standards.

Introduction: World War II Incarceration of Japanese Americans

Constitutional Issues: Civil Liberties, Individuals, and the Common Good

High School (three weeks)

This unit explores the essential question: “How can the United States balance the rights of individuals with the common good?”

Download Curriculum Packages
Full Unit (includes both teacher and student packages)
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Classroom Video Materials
Government Newsreel: “Japanese Relocation”.
View this nine-minute video during Session 6 of the unit.
Watch on YouTube

Oral History Video Clips
View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 7 of the unit.

Aki Kurose recalls how her teacher treated her after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Watch on YouTube

Mas Watanabe talks about his feelings about going into the Puyallup Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Frank Yamasaki shares memories of the Minidoka incarceration camp.
Watch on YouTube

George Morihiro talks about entering the Puyallup Assembly Center and how “the day you walked through that gate, you know you lost something.”
Watch on YouTube

Dig Deep:

Media and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II

High School (three weeks)

This unit explores the analysis of media and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Download Curriculum Packages
Introduction and Teacher Instructions
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Student Handouts
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Full Unit (includes both teacher and student packages)
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Classroom Video Materials
Government Newsreel, “Japanese Relocation”
View this nine-minute video during Session 8 of the unit.
Watch on YouTube

Oral History Video Clips
View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 9 of the unit.

Kara Kondo remembers the day of mass removal to the Portland Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Mas Watanabe talks about his feelings about going into the Puyallup Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Frank Yamasaki shares memories of the Minidoka incarceration camp.
Watch on YouTube

George Morihiro talks about entering the Puyallup Assembly Center and how “the day you walked through that gate, you know you lost something.”
Watch on YouTube

Causes of Conflict: Issues of Immigration

High School (three weeks)

This unit explores the essential question,“How do conflicts over immigration arise from labor needs and social change?”

Download Curriculum Packages
Full Unit (includes both teacher and student packages)
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Classroom Video Materials
View this short video excerpt from oral history interviews during Session 3 of the unit.

Roy Matsumoto explains how his father worked as a contract laborer in Hawai’i.
Watch on YouTube

View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 7 of the unit.

Shigeko Sese Uno describes how her father worked his way from Japan through Mexico to the United States.
Watch on YouTube

Harvey Watanabe tells how his father emigrated from Japan and decided to stay permanently in the United States.
Watch on YouTube

View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 8 of the unit.

Frank S. Fujii describing how he was reunited with his father at Minidoka incarceration center after nearly three years.
Watch on YouTube

Kara Kondo remembers the day of mass removal to the Portland Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Dig Deep:

Media and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II

Middle School (three weeks)

This unit explores the essential question,“How can members of a democracy evaluate their sources, to inform themselves responsibly for participation as citizens?”

Download Curriculum Packages
Full Unit (includes both teacher and student packages)
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Classroom Video Materials
Government Newsreel, “Japanese Relocation”
View this nine-minute video during Session 8 of the unit.
Watch on YouTube

Oral History Video Clips
View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 9 of the unit.

Kara Kondo remembers the day of mass removal to the Portland Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Mas Watanabe talks about his feelings about going into the Puyallup Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Frank Yamasaki shares memories of the Minidoka incarceration camp.
Watch on YouTube

George Morihiro talks about entering the Puyallup Assembly Center and how “the day you walked through that gate, you know you lost something.”
Watch on YouTube

Immigration Journeys: Changes and Challenges

Elementary School (three weeks)

This unit explores the essential question, “What transitions and challenges are experienced by immigrants along their journey of creating a new life in the U.S.?”

Download Curriculum Packages
Full Unit (includes both teacher and student packages)
Printer friendly version (PDF)
Editable version (Microsoft Word)

Oral History Video Clips
View this short video excerpt from oral history interviews during Session 3 of the unit.

Roy Matsumoto describing his father’s immigration from Japan to Hawaii and then California.
Watch on YouTube

View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 5 of the unit.

Shigeko Sese Uno describing how her father worked his way from Japan through Mexico to the United States.
Watch on YouTube

Harvey Watanabe telling how his father emigrated from Japan and decided to stay permanently in the United States.
Watch on YouTube

View these short video excerpts from oral history interviews during Session 7 of the unit.

Frank S. Fujii describing how he was reunited with his father at Minidoka incarceration center after nearly three years.
Watch on YouTube

Kara Kondo remembers the day of mass removal to the Portland Assembly Center.
Watch on YouTube

Acknowledgements
The Densho Civil Liberties Curriculum was made possible in part by grants from the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program, the National Park Service, and 4Culture. Special thanks to the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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