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Portrait Analysis: Norman Mineta

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Social Studies +3 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

In this activity, students will analyze a portrait of Norman Mineta (b. 1931), a U.S. politician and the first Asian American to hold a post in the presidential cabinet, serving as Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush. The son of Japanese immigrants, Mineta and his family were incarcerated in the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming under Executive Order 9066 during World War II.

This activity can be used to build students vocabulary in discussing visual elements of a portrait or as an entry point for studying Norman Mineta's life and achievements, U.S. history, and more.  Questions from the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators and a Project Zero See-Think-Wonder routine guide the student inquiry.  The complete guide and instructions are located at the end of the collection. To learn more about other Asian Pacific American activists and leaders, visit this collection: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/asian-pacific-american-activists-and-leaders/MR1jszd7YDA7gujx#r

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Keywords:  internment; Japanese American; Nisei; San Jose, California

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