Citizenship Denied: An Integrated Unit on the Japanese American Internment

Lesson Overview:

In 1942, 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States were relocated to ten internment camps. It took another forty years for the US government to recognize the violations of this population's constitutional rights. From studying the experiences of those interned, students will recognize and discuss a multitude of other issues such as civil rights, citizenship, and the legacy of racism. Using a variety of resources, students will investigate and interpret diverse points of view among those interned. The lessons are organized around the central question of' Whet are our rights and responsibilities as American citizens? The goal is to empower students to recognize social injustices and advocate for the constitutional rights of everyone.


Judy Woo and Jolynn Asato


Grade Band:

5-8, 9-12

Integrated Subjects:

U.S. History, Civil Rights



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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation