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Families

kids + Families

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Building History 3.0 is an online, game-based project that teaches kids about the World War II Japanese American incarceration camps. By completing activities ranging from exploring Minecraft to doing independent online research, kids, parents, and families can learn about what daily life was like for the people who were kept in the camps and why their stories are relevant today.

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These are just a few questions that kids will answer as they explore Building History 3.0. The readings and videos will also help them to design their own virtual recreations of the incarceration camps using Minecraft. Encourage them to share their work with friends and family!

How to get started

Start by checking out our graphic timeline and camp map. These tools, designed specifically with kids in mind, will provide an historical overview of the events that surrounded the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. 

From there, kids should check out our interactive activities in Minecraft. These include a virtual recreation of the Manzanar camp in Minecraft, and a suitcase packing activity that puts kids in the shoes of children who had to pack for the incarceration camps. As they select from a list of items they can fit into their suitcases, they are confronted with the reality of what would need to be left behind. 

And don’t forget to see our collection of six short documentaries made for kids. These follow folks who were impacted by the camps, and provide first person accounts of life during World War II. You’ll hear from former Heart Mountain boy scouts, a woman reunited with her doll collection decades after being forced to leave it behind, a 92-year-old Nisei World War II veteran, a boy learning about his grandmother’s experience at camp by recreating Manzanar in Minecraft, and more. 

Our website also features other online readings and resources where kids can do their own independent research as they explore archival images and oral histories.