Japanese Internment Study
As a part of their larger study of the second world war, the 7th and 8th graders looked more closely at the internment of Japanese Americans in Portland. Students visited the Oregon Nekkei Legacy Center for an introduction to the topic, took a walking tour of the part of downtown Portland that used to be Japantown before the war, and traveled to the Expo Center, where Portland incarcerated local Japanese Americans until they were forcibly relocated to camps further inland.
Students visited Mirabella retirement community, where they heard from four WWII veterans and had an opportunity to ask questions. Anneke Bloomfield, a holocaust survivor, also visited the classroom to share her story. Students crafted a scale model of Portland’s internment center for the Nekkei Center’s museum. Students read the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet this spring and went on a tour of locations from the novel while on their end-of-the-year trip in Seattle. This unit perfectly illustrated how place-based education makes world history relevant by illuminating a local aspect of bigger story.