Manzanar Unveils A Comprehensive Curriculum And Educator Resources Box

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.

Contact: Carrie Andresen or Nancy Hadlock
Phone: (760) 878-2194 ext. 2714 or ext. 2716

Manzanar Unveils A Comprehensive Curriculum And “Educator Resources Box”

The park rangers at Manzanar National Historic Site, working in collaboration with educators and partners, recently created an extensive package of Educator Resources for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, and other educators. The materials are designed to challenge students to explore civil liberties and civil rights as they learn about the internment of Japanese Americans and other facets of Manzanar’s history. The Essential Question “How does identity shape my experience in America?” is an important central theme that serves to unify the teaching resources. The curriculum includes lessons for both Primary and Secondary levels which explore the concept of identity though discussions focused on perceptions, racial identity, fear and war hysteria and violations of civil rights through the lens of Japanese American Internment.

In addition to the 235-page curriculum, the Educator Resources box includes: An Educator Resources disc with Adobe PDF files of the entire curriculum and California and National standards; 68 “ID booklet” biographies; a variety of Manzanar publications including timelines, glossary, maps, statistics, and more; and galleries or historic documents, artwork, and historic and contemporary photos The Award-winning documentary DVD Remembering Manzanar, Manzanar: Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire DVD, including two hour-long broadcasts of a Ball State University’s Electronic Field Trip to Manzanar as well as related lesson plans Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project Civil Liberties Curriculum CD-ROM with lesson plans and an overview of using Densho’s extensive online resources,  as well as a Densho brochure The official park brochure for Manzanar National Historic Site Four reproduced issues of the Manzanar Free Press newspaper, published from 1942 to 1945 One reproduction May 1942 “Instructions to All Japanese” Exclusion Poster Reflections in Three Self-Guided Tours of Manzanar book produced and donated by the Manzanar Committee.

Manzanar’s first curriculum was developed in 2002 with the support of a National Park Service “Parks As Classrooms” grant. The curriculum was significantly expanded by park staff in 2007 and 2008. Two thousand copies of the Educator Resources box were produced with nearly $32,000 in grant funding from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

The Educator Resources “Teacher Box” may be purchased for $29.95 plus tax (and shipping, if applicable) from the Manzanar History Association bookstore at Manzanar National Historic Site, or by calling (760) 878-2411. Proceeds support Manzanar’s education program. The lessons and some of the supporting materials are also available in the “For Teachers” section of the Manzanar National Historic Site website.

Manzanar National Historic Site was established in 1992 to tell the stories of the relocation of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Manzanar was the first of ten relocation centers built for Japanese Americans excluded from the West Coast. In operation from 1942-45, the camp had a peak population of more than 10,000. The historic high school auditorium now serves as the site’s interpretive center and features extensive exhibits, audio-visual programs, and a bookstore. In addition to the exhibits and film, visitors and school groups may join a park ranger for a guided walk or talk to learn more about the site and its many stories. Public program schedules are posted regularly on Manzanar’s web site at In addition, a self-guided auto tour is available any time during daylight hours. The Interpretive Center is open daily (except December 25) from 9:00 am to 4:30 PM (November through March) and 9:00 am to 5:30 PM (April through October).  For additional information, or to request a school or group tour, please call (760) 878-2194, ext. 2710.


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