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Becoming Visible Again: Finding Freedom and Recovering Life

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In this third unit, students will finish reading Unbroken and study the transition of the imprisoned or interned from “invisible” to “visible” after release. Students will briefly research Miné Okubo’s life after internment and then write a narrative in which they tell the story of Okubo’s journey from “invisible” during internment to becoming “visible” post-internment. For the mid-unit assessment, students will submit their single-draft narrative. For the end of unit assessment, students will complete a narrative techniques assessment in which they determine the effectiveness of various language techniques. Finally, for the final performance task, students will share their narrative with a small group of students and reflect upon their research-based narrative writing piece.


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 5-20 lessons. The “unit at a glance” chart in the curriculum map breaks down each unit into its lessons, to show how the curriculum is organized in terms of standards address, supporting targets, ongoing assessment, and protocols. It also indicates which lessons include the mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How does war (and conflict) affect individuals and societies?
  • How can individuals become visible again?
  • There are important yet divergent experiences in war and conflict.

Content Connections

NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum:

3. Time, Continuity, and Change

  • Reading, reconstructing, and interpreting events
  • Analyzing causes and consequences of events and developments
  • Considering competing interpretations of events

6. Power, Authority and Governance

  • Origins, uses, and abuses of power
  • Conflict, diplomacy, and war

10. Global Connections and Exchange

  • Past, current, and likely future global connections and interactions
  • Cultural diffusion, the spread of ideas, beliefs, technology, and goods
  • Benefits/consequences of global interdependence (social, political, economic)
  • Tension between national interests and global priorities




Texts to buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please refer to Trade Book List for procurement guidance.

Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
One per student
ISBN: ​9780812974492

Texts included in the unit

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
“Riverside’s Miné Okubo,”
by Mary H. Curtin
Splinters-Splinters (blog), 2011
“Miné Okubo,” Voices from the Gaps,
by Chelsie Hanstad, Louann Huebsch, Danny Kantar, and Kathryn Siewert
University of Minnesota, 2004
“The Life of Miné Okubo,” written by Expeditionary Learning for instructional purposes.
by Expeditionary Learning
Expeditionary Learning,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Executive Order No. 9066,” Feb. 19, 1942.
by Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The Fifth Column on the Coast,” The Washington Post, Feb. 12, 1942.
by Walter Lippmann
The Washington Post, 1942
The Report on Japanese on the West Coast of the United States (“the Munson Report”), Oct. 7, 1941.
by Curtis B. Munson
the Munson Report, 1941
“Day of Infamy” speech, delivered Dec. 8, 1941, as found at
by Franklin D. Roosevelt
“War in the Pacific”
by Edison McIntyre
Cobblestone (Vol. 15, Issue 1), 1994
“Fourteen-Part Message”
by Japanese Foreign Ministry


ELA G8:M3A:U3:L6

Mid-Unit Assessment

ELA G8:M3A:U3:L7

End-of-Unit Assessment

Optional Activities


  • Collaborate with the social studies teacher during this unit, as students build background knowledge about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the social and cultural influences of Japan on the Japanese soldier.
  • Invite World War II historians, veterans, or previously interned Japanese-Americans to visit and provide students with compelling and interesting stories and experiences about the Pacific Theater in World War II and Japanese-American internment.

Students may study the local monuments, the service of local community members who were involved in World War II, and any local connections to the internment of Japanese-Americans.

Students may organize a community benefit or event to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans in their community.

Consider using the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources as a resource for World War II and Japanese internment.

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