"Manzanar Journals"
teacher Kay Rice

Our seventh grade Language Arts reading list includes a sampling of books that reflect the experiences of various native and immigrant groups that make up modern California. One of these books is Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's memoir Farewell to Manzanar, about the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II.

Suggested lesson plans for this book often include haiku-writing, but Kay chose to teach her students tanka because she wanted them to imagine themselves living at that time in Manzanar and reasoned that tanka would allow them to personalize more than haiku. The poems were used in cut paper designs that served as journal covers.

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