Incarceration of Portland’s Japanese Americans in WWII

Two children in camp c 1943 Minidoka concentration camp Idaho Two children in camp c. 1943 Minidoka concentration camp Idaho

What was the impact of President Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Order 9066 on Portland Oregon’s Japanese-American community? The following presentation uses video interviews of camp internees, archived photographs, and historic documents to answer that question.

It was created by Kyle Stephens and Peter Gallagher in conjunction with the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Their thoughtful curation of historic content guides the reader through the experience of Japanese-Americans incarcerated during the War and the government’s justification for doing so. Engaging questions and points for discussion are placed throughout the presentation.

The lesson features reaction to Executive Order 9066, temporary incarceration at Portland Assembly Center (built on the grounds of a former stockyard on the banks of the Columbia River), and the final destination for most of Portland’s Japanese-American community – the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho.

Kyle and Peter were student in my social studies methods class at the University of Portland working on curriculum development for Portland’s Nikkei Legacy Center. Special thanks to the Densho Digital Archive for providing video and still images. 

Nikkei Classroom Presentation from Peter Gallagher

Image credit / Densho Encyclopedia: denshopd-i39-00044

Music and the Vietnam Anti-War Movement

photographs of nick dewolf photographs of nick dewolf

This concludes a series of guest posts from my preservice teachers at University of Portland. They had the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.

I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is The Vietnam War designed by Samuel TS Kelley. His DBQ explores the relationship between the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war as reflected in the music videos of the era.

You can find Samuel on Twitter and see his posts on our class blog.

See Samuel’s chapter in our class-designed iBook – free at iTunes.

Samuel TS Kelley reflects on what he learned from the experience:

Using a famous or popular document doesn’t really help the student to begin answering questions on their own. It is much more important to use a document that allows the student to be the historian and reach logical conclusions about the time period.

This DBQ does a good job of using the documents and songs to generate questions that the students can answer using only the given sources. Despite this, I had trouble coming up with overall questions about the unit. I kept refining the topic until I had a good theme to work with. I was already using some music as evidence, and I added a couple songs to make the music of the time central to the DBQ. This also changed the main idea of the DBQ, which shifted from a focus on the civil rights movement to the general anti-war movement (although civil rights were still very important to the DBQ).

Overall, I learned a lot from this assignment, especially about using documents that are most conducive to the student’s knowledge level. Using a famous or popular document doesn’t really help the student to begin answering questions on their own. It is much more important to use a document that allows the student to be the historian and reach logical conclusions about the time period. I am excited to continue to use DBQ’s to teach students to examine, analyze, and interpret the documents in ways that will engage their critical thinking skills, and let the students do the work of a historian when trying to establish facts and conclusions about the time period.

Image credit: Flickr / nick dewolf photo archive 
101970 07 04 ~ Boston Common,October 1970. 
Part of an archival project, featuring the photographs of Nick Dewolf

The Power of Propaganda: A Student-Designed DBQ

white haired girl balletI assigned my preservice teachers at University of Portland the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.

I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is The Power of Propaganda designed by Kyle Stephens.

You can find Kyle’s posts on our class blog.

See Kyle’s chapter in our class-designed iBook – free at iTunes.

Kyle Stephens reflects on what he learned from the experience:

I wanted to somehow link the idea of propaganda to today’s society and challenge the students to think about how propaganda may be used today.

When I started my DBQ project I wanted to show how propaganda was used throughout history and see how propaganda evolved throughout the years. However, I decided to focus my attention at WWII and the Cold War Era. I was able to find some great documents showing the propaganda used during that time. I wanted to somehow link the idea of propaganda to today’s society and challenge the students to think about how propaganda may be used today. However, I didn’t come up with a great way to do that without making the project much larger in scope. I think I should have focused my attention to either WWII or the Cold War exclusively. I think I would have been able to dive in deeper with one of them, rather than trying to span over a long time and different conflicts. However, this DBQ could be used to try to connect the two events and show how propaganda played a part in both of these.

Image credit
The White-Haired Girl: Chinese film poster (1950)
British Library
 

Two Worlds Meet: Europeans in the New World

America / [by Theodor Galle after Jan van der Straet]I assigned my preservice teachers at University of Portland the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.

I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is Cross-Cultural Contact Between Native American and European Conquerors designed by Tom Malone.

You can find Tom’s posts on our class blog. See Tom’s chapter in our class-designed iBook – free at iTunes.

Tom Malone reflects on what he learned from the experience:

DBQ design is delicate business.

The learning goals of this DBQ enable students to formulate a viewpoint about a crucial point in world history through opposing perspectives. Students can interpret primary documents, architecture, and more modern images in order to obtain the European viewpoint as well as the equally important Native American resident perspective. Students will enhance their primary document interpretation skills and their ability to interpret source validity.

This DBQ project achieves these goals, though certain images could be enhanced and authenticated more precisely in order to give students enough information to critically analyze without giving too much information. Some prompts could include more information depending on the target audience and their prior contact with the subject matter

As a thinking process, the DBQ serves as a strong element to any social studies lesson. The difficultly between including too much or too little information can be tricky. Selecting the proper document to present to students for analysis is the keystone to this method. DBQ design is delicate business, but it allows for freedom to reach common goals.

Image Credit: NYPL Digital Library
America / [by Theodor Galle after Jan van der Straet].
Creator(s): Galle, Théodore, 1571-1633 — Engraver
Straet, Jan van der, 1523-1605 — Artist

The Easter Rising: Irish Rebellion 1916

ICA) men on a Dublin rooftop 1916I assigned my preservice teachers at University of Portland the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.

I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is The Irish Revolutionary Period designed by Peter Gallagher. It challenges students to think about the timing, participants, and significance of the Irish War of Independence, ensuing Civil War, and continued conflict over the country’s partition.

See Peter’s chapter in our class-designed iBookfree at iTunes.

You can find Peter’s posts on our class blog.

Peter Gallagher reflects on what he learned from the experience:

I learned that the process of putting together a DBQ can be especially difficult as a teacher, because it requires one to step back and allow the students to connect the dots, rather than doing the work for them.

When I set out to begin my DBQ assignment, the scope was wide and the learning rather shallow. I realized fairly early on that I was looking at a yearlong unit rather than an isolated DBQ assignment, and set out to narrow my focus. I settled on the Irish Revolution, often called the Anglo-Irish War, as the subject of my DBQ. The revolution encompassed many of the points I had hoped to make in the larger unit on revolution, so it seemed like a good platform from which to teach. I had wanted to teach students about the relatively transient elements to many revolutions, that they are progressions rather than moments, summations rather than beginnings. The primary skill taught within the lesson would be the reading of primary documents as a means of historical inquiry. Once I narrowed the focus of my DBQ, I found it much easier to teach said skill. Rather than picking and choosing from a vast array of primary documents that, in some way or another, represented a 20th century revolution, the selection of ten images, documents, and artistic renderings of the Irish Revolution allowed for a deeper understanding of revolutionary sentiment at the outset of the 1900’s.

The final project, entitled “Easter, 1916” explores the context, players, and legacy of Easter Week 1916. I tried as best I could to limit the contextual history and allow the documents to speak for themselves, though it could be difficult at times. The topic is one I’m very familiar with, so it took a bit of effort to exclude my editorial inclinations. I feel the project is fairly well-rounded, though I would like a chance to supplement the DBQ with some background lessons. I learned that the process of putting together a DBQ can be especially difficult as a teacher, because it requires one to step back and allow the students to connect the dots, rather than doing the work for them. I’m happy with the product, and its one I’m bound to use in future lessons, wherever I end up teaching.

Image Credit: Camera Press Ireland – Irish Citizen Army (ICA) men on a Dublin rooftop during the Easter uprising

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