Students will realize the importance of maintaining our democracy through philanthropic actions which are inspired by the Core Democratic Values. The impact of the absence of these values from our democracy will be examined with the Japanese Internment following the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, as one example. As a result, an experiential component will provide students with the opportunity to encourage and engage in philanthropic action among their peers to promote and protect the values which ensure our democracy.
Two Forty-Five Minute Periods
The learner will:
- identify actions of the American government and people during World War II which violated Core Democratic Values in regard to Japanese Americans and describe the impact of those actions.
- list ways Core Democratic Values can be enhanced through philanthropic action for the common good of the student body.
This lesson, in conjunction with the others in this unit, can provide the opportunity for students to encourage their peers not only to act upon personal and civic values, but also apply those values by giving of time, talent, and treasure. Students can make an appeal to and assist their school leadership council with clarifying values of the group. (See Instructional Procedures.)
Ask students to imagine or recall a time when a rumor was spread about themselves or someone they care about. Ask them to explain the situation, without reference to names or inappropriate actions. Once students have established this personal connection to hurtful and damaging actions, ask them why rumors exist and how they get perpetuated.
- Reinforce the previous teaching that the "seeds," being the Core Democratic Values, are at the core of our democracy to maintain and preserve it. However, those "seeds" must be "planted." In other words, people must take action according to their values. Encourage students to take an active role as learners during this lesson by not only thinking and reflecting with their minds, but also with their hearts from a personal standpoint.
- Ask students what event occurred within the United States that posed the greatest physical threat to our democracy. If students do not state the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, provide clues such as the date (December 7, 1941). Then show approximately a five-minute video clip of the attack (see Bibliographical References). Connect the anticipatory set and the video clip to the teaching of this lesson by telling students that they are going to learn about actions in America following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when discrimination was practiced against Japanese Americans which violated their dignity.
- Read to students "Chapter Eight: Executive Order No. 9066" (pages 13-25) from the book entitled, I Am an American. Remind students that, although the Core Democratic Values are the ideals by which citizens live and act, what they are about to learn regarding the reality of Japanese Interment leaves those values in question. Stop periodically to invite student comments and reflection. Engage in meaningful discussion of the various perspectives of government officials and how those perspectives led to the internment, and the responses of the Japanese Americans. It may even be helpful to list the beliefs of individuals which perpetuated the belief that Japanese Americans were not only disloyal, but also aiding Japanese in conspiring to harm America. Be sure to include the perspective of those who showed support for the Japanese Americans.
- Have students identify actions from the reading that are enhancing or violating Core Democratic Values. You may wish to do this in conjunction with the above reading and discussion. Elicit student identification of a situation which was read that shows a Core Democratic Value being enhanced or violated. Teacher assistance may be necessary if students overlook examples. Use Core Democratic Values vs. Japanese Internment (Attachment One) when each situation is pointed out. Have students (individually or with a partner) write down a description of the example, the Core Democratic Value in question, whether it is being enhanced or violated and by whom. The following are suggested examples:
- Pages 13-14 - Patriotism - enhanced - Japanese Americans are attempting to prove their loyalty to America by waving the American flag, buying war bonds, donating blood, and buying bombs for attacking Tokyo.
- Pages 14-15 - Justice - enhanced - California Congressman Leland Ford said, "These people are American-born. This is their country." United States Attorney General Francis Biddle declared, "At no time will the government engage in wholesale condemnation of any alien group."
- Page 16 - Truth - violated - A government investigation of the bombing of Pearl Harbor suggested that Japanese farmers had planted their crops in the shape of arrows pointing to Pearl Harbor as the target. Although the charge of Japanese sabotage on Hawaii was totally false, newspaper writers and radio broadcasters began warning of the danger of Japanese sabotage on the west coast.
- Page 23 - Equality & Diversity - violated - Prejudice against the Japanese, building in California since 1906, was based on the idea that race, not citizenship, determined loyalty to America.
- Page 25 - Individual Rights - violated - On March 2, DeWitt announced that all Japanese, regardless of citizenship, would be evacuated from Restricted Area Number One, the entire west coast, and placed in relocation camps.
- Complete this portion of the lesson by reading pages 80-86 entitled, "I Am an American" to students. Lead a discussion with students regarding the perspective of the Japanese Americans in terms of how they felt about their situation and their fellow Americans.
Teacher note: Encourage students to look at the powerful black and white photographs in this book which clearly and powerfully portray the Japanese internment.
- This lesson, in conjunction with the others in this unit, can provide the opportunity for students to encourage their peers not only to act upon personal and civic values, but also apply those values by giving of time, talent, and treasure. Students can make an appeal to and assist their school leadership council with clarifying values of the group. This would be an opportunity for students to teach the council about the Core Democratic Values and brainstorm ways they can be enhanced within the school setting. Sharing content learned from World War II and Japanese Internment will serve as powerful motivating factors for the importance of action in accordance with the Core Democratic Values for the purpose of preserving democracy.
Students will send letters of appreciation and encouragement to current service men (see Web site www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=misc.contact&tok=1 for addresses). Students will write about what they have learned about maintaining our democracy through philanthropic action to enhance Core Democratic Values. The following criteria outlined below should be used to evaluate the content of the letter. Of course, the content should be critiqued for correct language and mechanical usage separately, possibly as part of a Language Arts class.
- Clarify the context of the letter.
- Describe a minimum of three Core Democratic Values.
- Explain the role and importance of Core Democratic Values in maintaining our democracy.
- State at least two roles of servicemen for which they are appreciative.
Lesson Developed By:Lisa Ludwig
|Description of Example #1|
|Description of Example #2|
|Description of Example #3|
|Description of Example #4|
|Description of Example #5|
|Core Democratic Value||Enhanced or Violated?||By whom?|
|Three Core Democratic Values chosen and correctly stated||Two Core Democratic Values chosen and correctly stated||One or no Core Democratic Value(s) chosen and correctly stated|
|Completely stated and accurate supporting examples shown for each of the three values||Two supporting examples shown, but some inaccurate information or incompletely stated examples||One or no supporting example(s) included|
|One example chosen as a violation of a Core Democratic Value with complete and accurate supporting information||One example chosen as a violation of a Core Democratic Value, but some incomplete or inaccurate supporting information||No example chosen as a violation of a Core Democratic Value|
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.