A | More | Perfect | Union --  Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
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Curator Statement

Historical Overview

Touring Exhibit

Classroom Activity 1

Classroom Activity 2


Web Links



Classroom Activity 2

Exclusion Orders


Intermediate and Secondary (Grades 7-12)


To help students identify with experiences that camp internees underwent.


A More Perfect Union Web site (http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion).

Focus on the Story Experience "Removal" and "Internment" sections of the site, paying particular attention to Arts and Culture section of Internment, and where students can learn about internees' experiences through their artwork. Carefully read the "Civilian Exclusion Order," the "Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry" and the Public Proclamations available in the Removal section of the site.

1. Divide class into groups of four students, which will constitute a Japanese family—parents and two children of ages specified by the group. They have just received orders that they will be "evacuated." They have no idea where they will be going, what type of weather they can expect, or how long they will be staying.

2. Have students carefully read the "Civilian Exclusion Order," the "Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry" and the Public Proclamations.

3. Carefully following instructions (especially the prohibitions) on the Order, each group will make a list of the items they will carry. They will be allowed 15 minutes.

4. One person in each "family" will share the list with the rest of the class. They must justify their choices, based on the needs of the members relative to their ages, gender.

5. After a discussion, have students visit the Reflections section of the More Perfect Union Web site and write a response to at least one of the topics.

Lesson adapted from the JACL Curriculum and Resource Guide (http://www.jacl.org/)

Sponsored by The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP)


Smithsonian - National Museum of American History - Behring Center