Materials & Teacher Preparation
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In this download center you can access, download or print copies of handouts, activities, and discussion-related materials you will need to make this lesson a success. We recommend the following class preparation.
Computer with Internet access for teacher
Computers with Internet access for students (throughout, or just for student research on Days One and Two)
Follow the instructions below before starting this lesson.
If teaching this lesson using print materials, make the appropriate number of copies of all student materials. (Quantities listed below.)
Set up and test computer, projector, speakers, and all videos before starting the lesson. Confirm that you are able to play and project the videos with adequate audio volume, or that your students can on their own systems.
Before Days One and Two, or for all days if you are using online versions of materials, ensure that computers are available for in-class student use.
Students learn about the history of U.S.–Japan relations by reading a general overview, “Relations Between Japan and the United States, 1853–2018,” which was written by Stanford Professor Emeritus (History) Peter Duus. They then work in groups to conduct research on one of six facets of contemporary U.S.–Japan relations.
Days One & Two
Have students read and discuss this in-depth article on the history of U.S.–Japan relations.
Each student group presents its research on one of six different facets of contemporary U.S.–Japan relations. They then 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 Secretary of Transportation and Commerce, Norman Mineta—as examples of influential leaders in the U.S.–Japan relationship.
Students view video comments by young Americans who have become involved in the U.S.–Japan relationship in some form. After reflecting on the methods and possible value of being involved in U.S.–Japan relations, students broaden their thinking and consider how they might be able to serve as bridges between different communities in their own city or school.