- Jump to Japanese American history resources from Chicago-based organizations
- Jump to Japanese American and Asian American history resources from other sources
The Day of Remembrance 2022 program features several classroom-ready educational resources developed by Chicago-based organizations on the subject of Japanese American history. Those resources are listed below, with information about how to access each resource.
While the Day of Remembrance program features classroom-ready educational resources that focus specifically on Japanese American history, we acknowledge and celebrate the fact that the TEAACH Act encompasses so much more. Asian American history is rich and diverse, and the Japanese American community stands in solidarity with the many other Asian American communities in Chicago and Illinois to ensure that all of our histories are taught and remembered.
This list therefore includes additional educational resources that go beyond the Japanese American and Chicago-specific perspective. This list is not exhaustive, but is intended as a launching pad for teachers and other who wish to begin exploring these topics and are looking for high quality tools to enhance their classroom teaching.
Japanese American Educational Resources from Chicago-based Organizations
Building Bridges Curriculum
Chicago Japanese American Historical Society
This curriculum, developed under a Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant from the National Park Service, offers a unit of six lessons for grades 6-12. The lessons connect early immigration and the roots of anti-Asian racism to the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during WWII and to problems of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that persist into the 21st century.
For more information, contact the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society at (847) 998-8101 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Japanese American Service Committee
This interactive, multimedia-based digital experience traces the multigenerational journeys of three families to tell the story of World War II incarceration and resettlement in Chicago. Designed with classroom use in mind, it features first-person narrative elements and includes key terms, reflection questions, and supplemental resource lists pointing to many primary source materials for further exploration. It was developed with funding from a Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant from the National Park Service and is best suited for grades 6-12.
To access this resource, visit https://uprooted.jasc-chicago.org/
Japanese American Service Committee
This interactive, multimedia-based digital experience shines a light on the Japanese American redress movement and the contributions of Chicagoans to the national effort. Designed with classroom use in mind, it features first-person narrative elements and includes key terms, reflection questions, and supplemental resource lists pointing to many primary source materials for further exploration. It was developed with funding from a Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant from the National Park Service and is best suited for grades 9-12 and college students.
To access this resource, visit https://reckoning.jasc-chicago.org/
Japanese American Citizens League, Chicago Chapter
Our Story is a resource of knowledgeable speakers who tell the story about the Japanese American incarceration during World War II. The speakers provide insight into the causes of the incarceration and its impact on individuals, the community, and the Constitution. The speakers share stories about the way the incarceration affected the lives of individuals and families.
For more information, visit https://jaclchicago.org/our-story/
The Orange Story
Full Spectrum Features
The Orange Story is a short fictional film and accompanying educational website. The film follows the owner of a small grocery store as he prepares to abandon everything and report to an assembly center. The website includes archival documents, images, and oral histories to expand upon the themes of the film.
To access this resource, visit https://theorangestory.org/
Other Noteworthy Japanese American and Asian American Educational Resources
K-8 TEAACH Act Resources
9-12 TEAACH Act Resources
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
These lists compiled by Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago offer a wide variety of resources suitable for different grade levels, indexed by ISBE topics and learning standards. AAAJ | Chicago will begin offering teacher training opportunities in April 2022. Information about those opportunities will be listed at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org/teaach once they have been scheduled.
TEAACH Act Resources
Illinois State Board of Education
This list from the Illinois State Board of Education is a compilation of recommended resources for Illinois teachers.
Curriculum, short films, and other resources for teaching WWII incarceration history, geared toward secondary and undergraduate classrooms. Sign up for the Densho Education Newsletter to receive information about the latest education resources, events, trainings, webinars, and teach-ins.
More than 30 lesson plans to accompany the PBS film series Asian Americans, categorized for grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
Prisoner in My Homeland
Prisoner in My Homeland offers young people a nuanced understanding of the choices and challenges faced by Japanese Americans in the WWII era. The game is played from the perspective of a fictional 16-year-old Japanese American boy whose family is forced to leave its home on Bainbridge Island, WA, for a military prison camp in Manzanar, CA. Players must make choices that reflect broader strategies of survival and resistance: will they help their community, focus on family, support the war effort, resist injustice? The game seeks to help correct the image of the incarcerees as passive victims by highlighting instances of resistance, and to place the events within the larger context of Asian immigration to the West Coast and Asian communities’ longer-term struggle to be accepted as American.
Japanese American National Museum
Activities and resources for learners of all ages. Resources include printable offline activities, videos, web resources and lessons, printable curriculum, and more.
The Japanese American Experience: A Lesson in American History
The Journey from Gold Mountain: The Asian American Experience
Japanese American Citizens League
Two curriculum guides developed by the national Japanese American Citizens League. The first contains a summary of the history of Japanese Americans, a chronology of important dates, a resource listing of books, videos and websites, learning activities for the classroom and an appendix with photos and copies of primary documents from the incarceration era. The second covers Asian American history beginning with Chinese immigration in the mid-1800s, including the Japanese American incarceration during WWII, and continuing into the early 2000s.
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Learning Together page launched in 2019 to connect the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s programs, curatorial expertise, and community anniversaries with K12 educators across the country. This page serves as an online venue for educational content featuring interviews with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members, links to community-created educational resources, book recommendations, discussion ideas, and more.