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Lesson Plan: Beauty Behind Barbed Wire

The Relocation Camp Experience of Estelle Ishigo

Unit Overview:
Artist Estelle Ishigo, the European American wife of a Japanese American, was among the American citizens forced out of California during World War II. Ishigo and her husband, Arthur, were first sent to Pomona Assembly Center and later to Heart Mountain Relocation Center, in a remote area of Wyoming. There, Estelle Ishigo continued her work as a painter. Students reflect on Ishigo's personal letters, artwork, and official documents to relate the themes of tolerance and prejudice to the era, understand that media plays a part in propaganda, and learn how artists convey thoughts and emotions through art.
Grade Level Recommendation:
Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12

Relates to: California Cultures: Asian Americans, Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA)

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The text of this lesson plan is available under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. You are free to share and adapt it however you like, provided you provide attribution as follows:

Beauty Behind Barbed Wire curated by University of California, available under a CC BY 4.0 license. © 2011, Regents of the University of California.

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