Lesson Plan

Pearl Harbor and the Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

Balancing national security and civil liberties can be tricky. To appreciate the tension between these two concepts, class members investigate the Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's response to the attacks. They view clips from the film, And Then They Came for Us, conduct a gallery walk where they analyze primary source documents and images to answer the essential question, "How does the government valance national security and civil liberties?"

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • For additional information, have class members read Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston's A Farewell to Manzanar
  • Use the lesson on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, or as part of a study of the attack on Pearl Harbor
Classroom Considerations
  • A free account is required to view the film clip
  • Plan for additional prep time to set up the six gallery walk stations
  • A protocol must be in place to permit a safe, respectful discussion of the internment controversies
  • The plan is richly detailed and includes step-by-step directions
  • None