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"Artzy" Art during World War II

Introduction Unit Objectives
Unit-At-A-Glance/Lesson Plans Artzybasheff Bibliography
Teacher Resources Supplemental Activities
World War II WebQuests Literary Terms and Vocabulary
Student Chatroom Student Portfolios
Home University of North Texas
TEKS/TAKS Standards Online Tutorials
WWII Letters Links Initial Artzybasheff images


Wartime Internment Camps


Imagine that one day you received notice that you and your whole family must be ready to move within 48 hours.  You could take only the possessions you could carry and no one would tell you when you would be permitted to return home.  Sound like a bad dream?  This happened to over 100,000 United States citizens and legal residents during World War II. Your job is to find out why.

The Task

You are a reporter whose assignment is to write a feature article that attempts to examine the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.  Your job is to research the causes and effects, review primary resources and "pitch" your article to your editor.  Choose your sources very carefully because your editor will challenge any apparent bias.


Below is a list of suggested links.  It is not necessary to go to each link in order to get the information you need, or you may choose to go to outside resources.  Remember, not all web sites are created equal!  Check the author or source of the information you see to determine its reliability and authority.  Personal web pages should show bibliographic information.

The Process


  1. Create a timeline of the events leading up to the internment of Japanese-Americans.
  2. Research the life of a typical internee.  Answer questions like: Where were most of the camps located and what were the facilities like?; How did the internees spend their time?; and, What were the concerns of the internees? : You are trying to assess the emotional, economic and physical effects of internment.
  3. You will be divided into pairs of teams.  Using a graphic organizer your team will either brainstorm the effects of the internment on Japanese-Americans OR the reasons behind the decision set up camps for Japanese-Americans.  Share your ideas with your paired team and discuss whether the internment was justified.
  4. Select pictures to illustrate your article.
  5. Create a PowerPoint presentation or rough draft/outline (with pictures) to send to your editor for her review.  You must submit this to your editor via e-mail.

Learning Advice

As a reporter you are asked to gather facts and report them in an unbiased manner. You search for the basic answers to WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY. Because this is a feature article rather than a news article you will delve into this topic more deeply. As you present your material deal with opinions about and repurcussions from this episode in American history. Your job is to provide not only context but some historical perspective.


Write a journal entry summarizing your feelings on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Before writing your journal entry think of the larger issues brought up by this chapter in our national history. When, if at all, does our government have the right to suspend personal liberty? What other groups in U.S. history have been targeted in such a way? Could this happen again? How does a government go about apologizing for past wrongs? What determines citizenship?

Teacher Notes 

This page was adapted from Bernie Dodge's WebQuest_Template1.html by Tom March