Goal: This activity is designed to deepen the understanding of the experience of Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two and promote student-centered collaborative inquiry. It is centered around interrogating primary sources and evaluating historical evidence on the World Wide Web and creating hypertext trails to construct knowledge.
Examine this poster.
Then, as best you can, write a few sentences explaining what the document is about. With your partner(s), share your writing and discuss what else you would like to know so that you could create a story or historical narrative about the poster. (10 minutes).
Using a WWW search engine (e.g. Excite , Yahoo, Alta Vista), gather information and source material in different media to: 1.fill out the story,
2.put it in context of time and place, and
3.give it a human face. (25–30 minutes).
Discuss your findings with your partner(s). Explain how you found the documents and links and why you chose them. Discuss how these documents and links add to or change your understanding of the poster. How could they be used to create historical narrative and/or tell a story? How do you know that the information you found is reliable? (10 minutes).
Brainstorm what you still need to find out to get a fuller understanding of the issues raised by the poster. Prepare to report back to a larger group. (5 minutes).
Group Reflections with all the Teams Doing This Activity
Share your experiences about the activity. What did you learn about Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two? What else would you need to know? How would you find it?
Source: Bill Friedheim, Borough of Manhattan Community College