See below for middle school education recommended reading*, viewing, and activities for students in grades 6 – 8 about the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center” and Japanese American Confinement during World War II.
Tours are available for all age groups. Tour can be customized to best fit the middle school education goals of each class. Book your field trip HERE.
Need help? Check out our suggested activities below or contact us for other curriculum suggestions.
*All of the books and movies below are available through the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation online store.
At the onset of WWII, nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in concentration camps. Inspired by Shigeru Yabu’s youthful camp experiences, A Boy of Heart Mountain is a poignant coming-of-age story and a celebration of the human spirit under duress. An audio version also is available.
Students gain insight from the incarcerees’ hardships. They will experience what it was like to leave their homes, possessions, and normal daily life behind to be confined at Heart Mountain. They will explore camp life, pass-time activities, and social structure and be able to compare and contrast these experiences to their own life experiences.
The Journal of Ben Uchida
In diary form, the author tells 12-year-old Ben’s story of being unjustly confined, living in a camp, and what his family goes through. This book ends with some insights into the historical events of that time and what happened to the characters after the war. (Out of print. Check your local library)
Students will explore what life was like in a Relocation Center and all the social issues involved in a community governing itself. They will study how those confined here lived and communicated under strict conditions.
The true story of one spirited Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.
HIRO details the memories of Hiroshi “Hiro” Hoshizaki, a former incarceree of the Heart Mountain, Wyoming prison camps during World War II. At age twelve, Hiro, an American-born citizen, and his family were forcibly removed from their homes, along with 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States.
Through his letters and diary entries, readers will have an intimate look at Stanley’s life at Heart Mountain and as a soldier on the battlefield during WWII.