Amy Armstrong
English Language Arts, History
Material Type:
Middle School
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs

Education Standards

Japanese American Relocation Centers: Fear at Home

Japanese American Relocation Centers: Fear at Home


This activity was produced in conjunction with The Library of Congress and the TPS at Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

This activity will allow learners to:

  • Draw conclusions about relocation centers used during WW2 in the western US.
  • Analyze primary resources using a question method to discover details.
  • Discuss the concept of fear and why others may be treated differently due to fear and prejudice. 

Short lesson plan introducing Japanese American relocation centers (or internment camps) using primary resources from Library of Congress. The lesson focuses on a newspaper article about the center in Hunt, Idaho and a photo of a toddler from the Manzanar camp. Can be used before teaching the book Farewell to Manzanar.

Students in Idaho will be reading Farewell to Manzanar in English class. This short lesson will introduce the idea of Japanese American relocation centers, using primary resources that highlight a Californian camp where Manzanar was and the Minidoka camp, in Idaho. Background knowledge is key to understanding the plot and ideas of Farewell to Manzanar. Students will begin to explore why the government decided to move thousands of citizens and how it impacted the families involved and the communities around them. The lens of fear of the unknown will be used to explore the topic of relocation centers in the west.

Please see the attached lesson plan for details and handouts.