In our unit focusing on American Values and Freedoms, we have taken a careful look at Japanese Internment during WWII. We ask ourselves whether Americans truly value freedom if this sort of injustice has happened in our country in our relatively recent history. In addition to focusing on the Fred Korematsu vs United States Supreme Court case, various articles about the topic and first-hand accounts of the experience, we looked at poems describing the experience of internment through various perspectives.
After reading the poems, students were asked to create what we call “Mind Mirrors.” The students were required to dissect the poem by looking through the eyes of the character and infer the emotions felt by the character during various stages of the internment. Students chose several symbols, quotes, and original phrases to create a representation of the character, then presented and explained their work to their peers.