Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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the expanding canon teaching multicultural literature
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Session 8 Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada - Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1
Lesson Plan 2


REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.


Share your views on the discussion

Download the Session 8 Guide

Lawson Fusao Inada
Work: Legends From Camp and Drawing the Line

Sandra Childs uses critical pedagogy to help students understand the victimization of Japanese Americans during World War II, the focus of Lawson Fusao Inada's collection of poems Legends From Camp. Students visit the Nikkei Legacy Center, where they see an exhibit of artifacts, documents, and photographs, and hear first-person accounts of the internment camp experience from Lawson Fusao Inada and Center volunteers. Inada reads a poem from his collection Drawing the Line. Using Inada's poetry and the texts from the exhibit, students write and share their "found poems."

To prepare for the lesson, view The Expanding Canon video program 8, Part I. Online, review the Session 8 theory overview, strategies, information about the authors and literature, resources, and the downloadable print guide. Read Legends From Camp and Drawing the Line -- excerpts available in the print guide. Read Executive Order 9066 (Japanese Relocation Order - 1942 ) -- available online at http://ipr.ues.gseis. ucla.edu/images/Evacuation_Poster.pdf. Gather photographs and historical documents to create a classroom exhibit about the internment camp experience. Selected poems available in print guide.

Teachers will need the following supplies:
  • board and/or chart paper
  • a screen or monitor on which to show a clip from the video program 8, Part II, either on a vhs tape or from the Web (optional)
  • photographs and reproductions of historical documents
  • copies of Legends From Camp
  • copies of Drawing the Line (optional)
  • copies of Executive Order 9066
Standards for the English Language Arts

1. Sandra Childs begins by reading the poem "Instructions to All Persons," and the "Prologue" of the title work from Lawson Fusao Inada's Legends From Camp.

2. Childs then explains specific terms to her class. She also provides some information about the history of discrimination against Japanese Americans in the U.S.

3. The class then engages in a ten-minute roundtable discussion where each student must have an opportunity to speak once before anyone can speak for a second time. Childs gives each student a copy of the executive order issued to Japanese Americans during World War II. She asks the students to imagine themselves in the position of the Japanese Americans who were told to enter internment camps. Students discuss how they would respond to the complex situation. They structure their discussion so that one student acts as a facilitator and one acts as a recorder. Childs asks students if there are any justifications for the governmental order.

4. The class goes to the Nikkei Legacy Center in downtown Portland, where they see an exhibit of artifacts, photos and historical documents documenting the Japanese American internment camp experience. Childs encourages students to note images or text lines that grab their attention. (Teachers can create an exhibit in the classroom by finding photos and historical texts on the Web; teachers may also show students a clip featuring the Nikkei Legacy Center from The Expanding Canon video program 8, Part II.)

5. Childs introduces the students to poet Lawson Fusao Inada, who shares with them his childhood memories of life in the internment camp. He reads aloud the title work from his collection of poetry, Drawing the Line.

6. Childs asks students to walk around the museum, picking out meaningful lines of text from the exhibit, and/or words from Inada's poetry to create their own "found poems" -- similar to the way in which Inada used words from Executive Order 9066 in his poem, "Instructions to All Persons." Students also talk to Nikkei Legacy Center volunteers about their experiences in internment camps.

7. Students share their "found poems" with Inada and the group before returning to school.

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