Day of The Western Sunrise: An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Teaching

Engage in cross-curricular critical thinking opportunities with this online workshop that follows the process of creating and producing the modern animated documentary film Day of the Western Sunrise using traditional Japanese storytelling techniques.
The program will begin with a brief background of the film presented by its director, Keith Reimink, who brought the story of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon #5 to life. On March 1, 1954, the Japanese crew of a tuna boat was contaminated by nuclear fallout from the U.S. Castle Bravo thermonuclear weapon test in the Bikini Atoll. With a great deal of research, interviews with survivors, collaboration with the memorial museum in Japan, and work with an animation team coupled with grassroots help from activists in Japan, Keith has developed an invaluable teaching tool for multiple disciplines. Keith will discuss the process of working with the museum, obtaining interviews, writing the story and creating artwork. He will finish up by describing the steps necessary for editing and releasing the film for public use.
Keith’s introduction to the filmmaking process will be followed by a presentation made by Social Studies and Art teacher Angie Stokes who will speak about the curriculum developed for the film and explain how she integrated the film and its lessons into her own high school class. This curriculum unit offers teachers an assortment of easily adaptable lessons that will help bring the message of the Lucky Dragon’s survivors to life. Using the primary and secondary sources of the film and curriculum unit, teachers will learn ways to integrate these activities into their lessons through the investigation of storytelling, historical thinking, and human rights.

Angie Stokes, 7-12 Teacher, Wayne Trace Junior/Senior High School, Haviland, Ohio, and Keith Reimink, Writer/Developer.