A Unit on Farewell to Manzanar for 8th Grade English

Lesson Overview:

Jeane Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston's historical narrative Farewell to Manzanar (1973) provided an autobiographical account of the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Through some poignant moments, Farewell to Manzanar attempts to raise some important concerns about generational issues (Issei and Nissel), gender roles (tradtional and non-traditional), and ethnicity (race reatlions).

The unit focuses on integrating the modes of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through literature-based, interdisciplinary instruction. Students will develop greater cultural sensitivity to people from another background; students will also discover the psychological and sociological implications (home vs. school culture) regarding biliterate and bicultural issues embedded within the acculturation process though the activities of reading, research, and reflection.


Dewey W. Hall



Grade Band:


Integrated Subjects:

Language Arts



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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation