Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Japanese-American Incarceration, and supports the standard of  constructing an interpretation of why the U.S. government incarcerated Japanese Americans, as well as the effects of the incarceration. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display the word “Stereotype.” Ask students:

  • What do you think this word means?
  • How can stereotypes be dangerous?


  • Read the description on the Japanese-American Incarceration topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “In Depth” and “Q&A”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Assign Japanese-American Incarceration Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND 

Students express what they learned about Japanese-American Incarceration while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a documentary that explains how Japanese Americans coped with life in prison camps.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying causes and effects of Japanese-American Incarceration during World War II. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum exhibit with artifacts representing Japanese-American Incarceration. 

More to Explore

Densho Teaching Guide and Densho Resource Guide: Explore these resources from Densho, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, preserve, collaborate and inspire action for equity. Densho resources are intended for secondary school students and above. 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of [subject matter] with these topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, World War II, and Pearl Harbor.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments