Grade 8 curriculum contexts (pp. 278, 283-284 in the curriculum guide)
PERSONAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL
In this context, students are looking inward and focusing on self-image and self-esteem. They reflect on self and life, on their beliefs and values and those of society.
SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND HISTORICAL
In this context, students look outward and examine their relationships with others, their community, and that of the world. They also can consider the historical context.
BECOMING MYSELF (personal & philosophical) – Under the extreme conditions of the war and the forced evacuation of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the west coast, Ken and Paula both must assess who they are as adolescents: their goals, and their means of pursuing these goals under the sociological and cultural constraints of the time. Despite the many hardships, both become able to identify means of giving their best, whether academically or psychologically, and grow toward maturity.
IS IT FAIR? – IN SEARCH OF JUSTICE (social, cultural & historical) – In Ken’s and Paula’s time, the government itself enacts extreme and unjust practices as a result of war hysteria and racial prejudice. The end result is that one minority group of citizens is forced from their homes, often losing all possessions (including self-worth), and uprooted to live in inhumane conditions in the bleak desert where they can pose no “military threat” to their country. Ken and Paula, studying the U.S. Constitution at school, are faced with the utter hypocrisy and must consider aspects of loyalty in addition to seeking out the just and responsible thing to do in unjust circumstances.