Curriculum Topic: Amache Japanese American Incarceration Camp
Lesson Plan Courtesy of: David Rapaport, teacher at Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA.
Lesson Plan Synopsis:
Interpreting historical sources requires establishing the frame of reference of the historical actors being studied. This lesson explores an exchange of letters between incarceree Mr. Yamaguchi and Reverend Chanwick over Yamaguchi’s refrigerator. Refrigerators and large appliances were extremely difficult to obtain and maintain, so, a refrigerator in the desert community like Tulare would’ve been a prized item. Yamaguchi wanted to store this item; however Chanwick tried to convince Yamaguchi to let him use a refrigerator that would be collecting dust during WWII.
This exchange of letters deals with the different power positions of the two men, the elasticity of the cultural norms during wartime, and the prejudice and bias that Americans had toward other Americans because of their heritage.
Download the March 2017 Lesson Plan here.