May Is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Explore the diverse cultures that originate from and thrive in the Pacific Rim and East Asia. The activities, resources, books, and lesson plans below support the study of vibrant ancient cultures, flourishing modern Asian Pacific societies, and how Asian Pacific influence travels oceans to infuse and define American culture today.
Asian Pacific American Experiences
A comprehensive online activity that explores the history and culture of Asian Americans, including true immigration stories.
Norman Mineta was ten years old when he left his home in San Jose, Calif., and relocated to Heart Mountain, Wyo., as part of the wartime imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Follow Mineta's story and learn more about the war with this online activity.
An observant Asian-American girl notices the shapes of objects in her urban neighborhood, objects both familiar and from her Chinese heritage. A glossary explains the cultural significance of many of the items the little girl ponders.
Discussion Guide to The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Ask the class to talk about how Ut felt on her first day in the American school. Describe how she might feel different if she were attending school in Vietnam.
Interview with Lisa Yee: What is the importance of including multicultural characters in your books?
Asian Pacific Americans and Immigration
Students get a unique firsthand account of what it was like for a young girl to move from a small village in China to the United States in the 1930s.
Meet Taylor, a fourth grader who moved to the United States from South Korea! Read Taylor’s story, and those of other young immigrants, in this online student activity from the Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today unit.
The Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882, 1892, and 1902 severely limited or completely suspended Chinese immigration to the United States. Learn more about the acts and their ultimate repeal in this article from Grolier Online.
Presents a story of a cross-cultural family and recommends related activities utilizing social studies, language arts, and math skills.
Children will bring to this story a curiosity about different cultures and an empathy with the young character's confusion in a strange, new home.
This book list contains fiction and nonfiction titles across all grade and reading levels that explore the experiences of immigration and citizenship.
Find beautifully illustrated books about Ellis Island and immigrant experiences as well as early chapter book series such as Dear America and My America that offer fictional accounts of historic moments.
Asian Pacific Culture and History
Learn about Confucianism, the philosophical system founded on the teaching of Confucius, which dominated the sociopolitical life of China for most of that country's history and largely influenced the cultures of Korea, Japan, and Indochina.
Learn about Daoism (sometimes called Taoism), a movement that developed alongside Confucianism into both a philosophy and a religion, becoming one of the major belief systems in traditional China.
Students learn about China through literature before comparing and contrasting their lifestyle to that of Chinese children.
Encourages students to learn about ancient Japanese Samurai through reading, repsonding to, and writing haiku.
The letters which are at the core of the book Dear Miss Breed provide readers with an eyewitness account of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
These discussion questions and after-reading activities accompany The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp, California, 1942 by Barry Denenberg.
A discussion guide to Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595 by Sheri Holman in the Royal Diaries historical fiction series.
A discussion guide to Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858 in the Royal Diaries historical fiction series.
A discussion guide to Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Warrior of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 by Laurence Yep in the Royal Diaries historical fiction series.