BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

December 30, 2015
by blogwalker
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Tule Lake Internment Camp – From first-hand accounts

I have not yet visited the Tule Lake Segregation Camp (AKA Tule Lake War Relocation Center), but as of Monday, thanks to a text message from Kathleen Watt (Time of Remembrance Co-Director) and a Tweet from Larry Ferlazzo, a trip to this remote area of Northern California is now on my 2016 to-do list. Kathleen and Larry both shared a link to Charles Lam’s NBC News article: Senate Bill Would Name Tule Lake, Largest Japanese Internment Camp, Historic Site.

Tule Lake War Relocation Center.jpg
Tule Lake War Relocation Center” by Library of Congress –  Licensed under Public Domain

Tule Lake was one of ten internment camps quickly constructed by the U.S. Government for the purpose of removing all people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast during World War II. It is best known as “home” to the “no no boys,” a term “for those who answered ‘no’ to questions 27 and 28, the so-called ‘loyalty questions’ on the Application for Leave Clearance form” (Densho Encyclopedia).

Of the 32 interviews posted to the Time of Remembrance World War II Archives, 12 include first-hand accounts of life in Tule Lake. For some of our interviewees, Tule Lake was a starting point in their internment years; for others, it was where they were confined until the close of WWII.

To learn more about Tule Lake from a child’s perspective, I recommend starting with Christine Umeda’s interview. Christine’s parents signed the loyalty oath and were then released from Tule Lake and relocated to Topaz. For a more detailed account of a child’s life in Tule Lake, listen to Toshiye Kawamura’s interview, whose father was a “no no boy.”

“No no boy” Jim Tanimoto’s interview is a compelling account of the consequences of taking a stand as an 18-year-old and refusing to sign the loyalty oath. Jim’s 36-minute interview makes a strong case for Barbara Boxer’s Senate Bill and will provide teachers and students with the content background to fully understand and appreciate this newsworthy current event.

Jim’s interview also stands as a testimony to Tule Lake Committee Officer Barbara Takei’s statement to NBC News“The people used this loyalty questionnaire as a form of protest. The people who gave the ‘wrong’ answer ended up segregated at Tule Lake. That protest is really the Japanese-American civil rights story. It’s a story that hasn’t really been told.”

When I do make the 300+ mile journey from Sacramento to Tule Lake (hopefully this summer), I’ll be back with an updated post!

 

August 18, 2011
by blogwalker
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Resources for Teaching about 9/11

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just a few weeks away, I wanted to share some resources for commemorating an event we cannot forget.

Image via Creative Commons http://www.hyscience.com/9-11.jpg

From Edutopia’s Suzie Boss (Reinventing Project-Based Learning co-author):

From the New York Times Learning Network:

From PBS:

  • American Respondsresources to help educators teach students about peace, tolerance, war, patriotism, geography, and other related issues.

From Teaching for Change:

  • Resources for Teaching about 9/11 – provides links for teachers to address in the classroom including such topics as U.S. foreign policy, Islam, and Arab and Arab American news.

From Facing History & Ourselves:

  • Legacies of September 11 –  lesson looks at the issues of civil liberties, freedom and safety and the tensions that may arise in a democracy.

From Thinkfinity.org:

From the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):

From the New Jersey Dept of Education Commission on Holocaust Education”

From the National Writing Project – Broadcast discussion on NWP Radio:

  • Marking a Moment: Teaching about 9/11 – Wonderful archived discussion on how and what critical literacy practices support students in finding a voice as they navigate the complexities of challenging topics, such as 9/11. Links to lessons, texts, and resources referenced in the program will soon be available at the NWP Radio archives.

From Internet Archive:

  • Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive – Incredible collection of video footage of “the events of 9/11/2001 and their aftermath as presented by U.S. and international broadcasters. A resource for scholars, journalists and the public, the library presents one week (3,000 hours from 20 channels over 7 days) of news broadcasts for study, research and analysis, with select analysis by scholars.”

From Larry Ferlazzo’ Websites of the Day:

If you have resources for teaching about 9/11, please join the conversation and leave a comment!

July 4, 2011
by blogwalker
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ISTE Day 4: Suzie Boss – Ripped from the Headlines – Real Events Yield Relevant Projects

I already knew when I saw Suzie Boss’s Ripped from the Headlines – Real Events Yield Relevant Projects listed on ISTE’s Wednesday session that I would be ending the conference with a bang. With Paul Allison (National Writing Project/Teachers Teaching Teachers),  Katherine Schulten (NYT Learning Network) , and Matt Baird (Science Leadership Academy) joining Suzie, this “lecture session” quickly became an interactive discussion session.

Suzie opened the session with Poll Everywhere question on current events: What makes a headline project-worthy?

  • messy problem – no “right” answer?
  • relevance, high interest?
  • ongoing issue or consequences (Weinergate, for instance, wouldn’t be lasting)?
  • connection to curriculum/standards?

We flashbacked to 2010 and the BP gulf oil spill and meaningful learning – Q: How do you design meaningful curriculum around a current event? Paul Allison shared Voices on the Gulf – a wonderful, year-long, National-Writing-Project connected project.  I was glad that he selected pieces created by Margaret Simon’s students. Having been involved with the Voices on the Gulf project, I really enjoyed watching Margaret’s students publish their thoughts and creative efforts around the oil spill to an authentic audience.

Suzie: “Students need to have empathy with people who are the front lines. Where can we help students develop empathy through current events selectively – without being ambulance chasers.

Matt  jumped in, opening with the June 26 Doonesbury cartoon that addresses the “just Google it” issue. His point: “When you’re looking for projects that will have meaningful transformative experiences – they should be something students can’t google.” The focus should be on the process of learning as opposed to content – “you’ll get richer learning.”  Microsoft Excel, for instance, rather than being taught as a stand-alone class, should be woven into an real topic, such as the Japan earthquake and tsunami. When students put together actuary tables of costs/benefits  in their math class, it spilled over into Matt’s history class. Cost of lives had not been considered in equation. Headlines don’t always have to be national/international.  With the BP oil spill, words such as “fracking” became increasingly woven into discussion. Philadelphia’s drinking water has changed to dead last. Are there any correlations? SLA Spanish classes, went to Dominican Republic to apply clean water ideas. Eleventh grader Humanities students had to come with elevator pitch – cross curriculum connections.

A Real Events Yield Relevant Projects approach to teaching and learning is about student voiceand choice, inquiry-driven learning. It’s about students getting “activated” – so they can go out and do something.

Question: How do you go from an event to a project?

  • PBL process guides inquiring learning – going deeper than a current-events chat
  • students make meaning, do or make something with what they have learned
  • results in authentic products

For an example of the above, checkout Kim Coffino’s  Quakestories wiki.

In the current test-driven climate, many K-12 classrooms have stopped weaving current events into the school day. Time to reverse this trend!

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