COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading for Information
RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.8.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
RI.8.3 Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
RI.8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
RI.8.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking and Listening
SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
L.8.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.8.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.8.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
In this Grade 8 lesson titled “In Response to Executive Order 9066 – All Americans of Japanese Descent Must Report to Relocation Center” from Student Achievement Partners and the Anthology Alignment Project learning centers around a poem by Dwight Okita. It has a suggested instructional time of two days, 45 minutes per day. The lesson gives students opportunities to read closely as they examine a poem’s themes in an historical context, responding to and discussing text-dependent questions. The culminating task asks students to independently complete an evidence chart, using any relevant notes from the lesson, in order to write a response to a prompt that is well supported by evidence from the text. Additional informational texts, images, and a painting can be used to extend learning.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that in order to use this lesson in history/social studies classes in grades 6-12, it will be necessary to replace the ELA CCSS listed above with the Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies that are targeted in this lesson, to add more history/social studies content to meet grade-specific content standards and also to revise the assessment to reflect these changes. While there are some assessment guidelines, an aligned rubric should be created to elicit direct, observable evidence to which a student can independently demonstrate the major targeted standards. To meet the varied needs of students, supports and modifications may be needed. It may also be necessary to include discrete writing and language skill instruction.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This lesson is useful primarily because of the learning tasks that provide students with opportunities to engage with complex text, analyze and discuss text-dependent questions, and produce clear and coherent writing that informs, explains or make an argument. It also could be adapted to integrate literacy within history classrooms to deepen student learning.
Materials for the Lesson:
- Link to the poem, “In Response to Executive Order 9066 – All Americans of Japanese Descent Must Report to Relocation Center” by Dwight Okita. Background information that the author wrote about the poem is also included.
- Camp Harmony – background information
- Camp Harmony – Google Images
- “Progress After One Year, the Mess Hall Line” – (painting by Kango Takamura now at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC)
- Camp Harmony (Puyallup Assembly Center), 1942 – article with illustrations provided by “The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History” (HistoryLink.org Essay 8748)