EngageNY Grade 8 ELA Module 3a: Japanese-American Relations during World War II
Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption serves as the central text of a three-unit module that examines Japanese-American relations during World war II. In Unit 1, middle schoolers build background knowledge by reading informational text about the causes of the war, the response of both governments to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and their different perspectives of the event. Unit 2 focuses on the theme of resisting forced “invisibility” using the stories of an American soldier imprisoned by the Japanese and an interned Japanese-American. In the final unit of the module, scholars research then craft a narrative that reveals the journey from invisible to visible of one of the characters in Hillenbrand’s story.