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Lesson Plan: “We Are Americans Too!”
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.7, RH.6-8.10, RI.6-8.1, RI.6-8.6.2, RI.6-8.3, SL.6-8.1, SL.6-8.2, SL.6-8.5, SL.6-8.6, WHST.6-8.2, WHST.6-8.4, WHST.6-8.7, WHST.6-8.9
• Include this play in a unit on World War II.
• Incorporate this play into a discussion on life in the U.S. during World War II.
1. BUILDING BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE(10 MINUTES)
Have students preview the play by examining the title, videos, images, captions, and map. Discuss what they know about the people and events that appear to be the focus of the play.
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Read & Analyze
2. FULL-CLASS READING(20 MINUTES)
Assign roles and read the play aloud together. Encourage students to read their assigned roles with feeling.
3. CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS(10 MINUTES)
Have students write their answer to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion. (Answers will vary, depending on the play selected.)
Extend & Assess
4. ANALYZE A PRIMARY SOURCEAfter students read the play, assign the skills sheet Analyzing a Primary Source: “Behind Barbed Wire.” Review the answers as a class.
5. CREATE A MOVIE TRAILERDivide students into groups. Have each group imagine that the play is going to be produced as a movie. Have them write, produce, and record a trailer to promote the feature film. They may write a script, design a set, and prepare costumes for the production of their trailer.
6. CONNECTING THE PAST TO THE PRESENT: SUMMARIZINGThe play’s sidebar connects the topic to historical to current events. Ask students to read the sidebar, then write a paragraph summarizing its main idea and supporting details.
7. WATCH THE VIDEOHelp students learn more about Japanese internment during World War II by watching the video “Prisoners in Their Own Country.”
8. PERFORM THE PLAYHave students work in groups to rehearse and perform the play. Encourage them to design a set, scenery, props, and costumes to enhance their performance.
Lower Level Before students read the play, go over words that may be unfamiliar to them, such as allied, descent, infamy, internment, pelt, and turmoil
Higher Level Ask students to imagine that they are interviewing one of the play’s main characters. Have them write a Q&A interview with that character. The questions should focus on events highlighted in the play, and the responses should be historically accurate.
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