Every September, the Puyallup Fairgrounds south of Seattle hosts a huge country fair with rides, snacks, animals and 4-H competitions.
Many people do not realize that these fairgrounds, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, were also the site of a place called Camp Harmony. It was here that thousands of Japanese-American citizens from the Seattle area were housed before being shipped to the Minidoka Incarceration Center in Idaho.
After reading Kirby Larson’s new book, The Fences Between Us, I decided tying together the Big 6 research process with this part of Seattle’s history would be one way for our 5th and 6th grade students to find out a little more about this topic.
It also turned out to be timely. Just last week, as the Japanese American community marked their Day of Remembrance, Seattle University announced that they would award honorary degrees to the 15 Japanese-Americans whose educations were disrupted and were incarcerated during World War II. For most, relatives will accept the degree as all but one of the former students have since passed away.
Using some of the project suggeted by Kirby Larson in her book, students had to decide upon a topic: The bombing of Pearl Harbor, Camp Harmony, Minidoka Incarceration Center, The Densho Project, The Civil Liberties Act, the 442 Regiment, or Seattle’s former Japantown. Then teams of students had to use books and the internet to research 10 facts about their topic and create a poster, displaying their facts and related photos.
Here are their projects in a Photopeach presentation.
What did you learn about this topic?
What topic have you done for a research project?
Leave us a comment and let us know!