Teachers > U.S.–Japan Relations > Lesson Introduction

This is one of six modules of What Does It Mean To Be An American?,

a curriculum resource designed for high school and college classrooms. 

In this lesson, students are introduced to the history and current state of U.S.–Japan relations and consider the significance of several specific themes in this relationship. They first read a brief history of the U.S.–Japan relationship by Stanford Professor Emeritus (History) Peter Duus. Students then learn about key aspects of contemporary U.S.–Japan relations and view video vignettes about two prominent individuals who have served as bridges between the United States and Japan: former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Commerce, Norman Mineta. Finally, students consider the role that they themselves can play in bridging together different communities, societies, and cultures.

Lesson Introduction

 

What are some important themes in the history of U.S.–Japan relations?
 

What are some key aspects of contemporary U.S.–Japan relations?
 

In what ways can individuals serve as bridges of understanding between different communities, societies, and cultures? What are the benefits and costs of fostering these relationships?

 

Can Americans with ancestral ties to a particular country of the world play a unique role in the United States’ relationship with that country?

Organizing Questions

In this lesson students:

Understand major themes in the history of U.S.–Japan relations

Learn about some key issues in contemporary U.S.–Japan relations

Evaluate the overall health of the U.S.–Japan relationship

Consider ways that individuals have served as bridges of understanding between the United States and Japan

Reflect on ways that individuals can serve as bridges of understanding between different communities, societies, and cultures, and consider the benefits and costs of fostering such relationships
 

Discuss whether or not Americans with ancestral ties to a particular country of the world can play a unique role in the United States’ relationship with that country and how this may factor into students’ thoughts on the question, “What does it mean to be an American?”

Objectives

The following are suggestions for assessing student work in this lesson:

  1. Assess group research presentations in Presentations: Facets of the U.S.–Japan Relationship, evaluating students’

    • clarity of presentation;

    • thoroughness and relevance of research to the research questions;

    • thoughtful analysis of the role their “facet” plays in the overall U.S.–Japan relationship; and

    • even distribution of researching and presenting responsibilities among group members.
       

  2. Assess student responses to U.S.–Japan Relations Today based on

    • clarity of writing;

    • quality of thought process and analysis; and

    • appropriate use of evidence to support analysis.
       

  3. Assess student responses to Bridges of Understanding based on

    • clarity of writing and thought process;

    • clear statement of their opinions; 

    • sensitivity toward different cultures and ideas; and 

    • creativity. 
       

  4. Assess student participation in group and class discussions, evaluating students’ ability to

    • clearly state their opinions, questions, and/or answers; 

    • exhibit sensitivity toward different cultures and ideas; 

    • respect and acknowledge other students’ comments;

    • ask relevant and insightful questions; and

    • provide correct and thoughtful answers to classmates’ questions.

Assessment

Sign up for updates & stay connected.

arrow&v
arrow&v
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • YouTube

Major Funding Provided By

© 2020 Media Bridges, Inc. & SPICE

Website created by Multiply Bureau