Class 4: Evaluating Historical Sources – Japanese-American Incarceration WWII

Featured image source


This class will begin a multi-class examination of historical thinking skills based on the work by Stanford History Education Group. (SHEG). We will focus on four key historical thinking skills – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroboration and Close Reading. See Historical Thinking Chart  (pdf in English and Spanish at SHEG).

For content, in this class session we will examine the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Class Session

Class will open with some introductory activities both evaluating the work from last week’s class and the assigned flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom? Created at TEDed.

We will have an initial review of the topic using the multitouch iBook,  Portland’s Japantown Revealed (free at iTunes). Students will then use a modification of this evaluation guide to compare the two videos below.

How does the video say it?

  • Who made these videos and what was their purpose in making the videos?
  • What was the essential message of each video? What makes you think that?
  • What audio and visual elements are used to support the message of the video? Cite specifics.
  • How effective are these videos in communicating their message?

How does the video connect to me?

  • How is each video a product of its time? Do the videos rely on fact or opinion? Do they appeal to the viewer’s reason or emotion? Cite specifics
  • How do these videos communicate in ways that would differ from a textbook?
  • What is my reaction to the videos and the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II?
  • How might others see these videos in different ways than me?

From the Uprooted Project

Essential question: How does a nation balance national security and the rights of the individual?

In class discussion using a Fishbowl model

Assignment 4 | G Form lessons 20-A4

Design a Sourcing lesson using a Google Form and embed into your next post. 
Start a Google Form here

Google form sourcing lesson should include:

  1. Title
  2. At least two documents to be considered – could include images, videos, or short text passages)
  3. Archival sources of documents (be sure it’s in public domain)
  4. At least 3 questions for user to answer. Could be separate questions for each documents or collective questions for both.
  5. Instructional goal that highlights the expected answers and / or student insights.

Embed the Google form in post (more instructions below). 

Be sure your blog post has: 

  1. Featured image and clever title
  2. Target student group. Grade, course.
  3. Lesson context – for example – introduction, pre-assessment, part of bigger unit, etc
  4. Lesson delivery in virtual classroom – for exampleflipped instruction, in class station, etc.
  5. How the Google Form will be used to help achieve instructional intent.
  6. Embedded Google Form using HTML Snippets (instructions below)
  7. Direct link to Google Form


Student work from fall 2019

Support for using Google Forms

Sample Google form lesson

Here’s a sample lesson using a Google Form and one document (you’ll need two)

Direct link: Zulu Chief Photograph

tech resources for this lesson

How to get an embed code for your Google form

How to HTML Snippets to embed your Google form into WordPress post. Note in this example I begin by getting the embed code from a Padlet. Once you have the any embed code on your “clipboard” you can use HTML Snippets in WordPress

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