Asian-American History for Grades K-2
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
- Use Web technology to access American history and the Asian-American experience
- Study Asian culture by completing an arts and craft activity that connects students, hands-on to the culture of a different country
- Discuss Asian American writing with author interviews
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Activities
- Printable Activities
- Biography of Soyung Pak
- Biography of Janet Wong
Set Up and Prepare
- As you plan your age-appropriate lesson, you may wish to print out any reading assignment pages and staple them into a book for individual students.
- If you have several computers in your classroom, assign computer time to small groups of same-reading level students.
If you use the zodiac printable activity, start the class by talking about the Chinese zodiac. Have the students compare the Chinese symbols with the western astrology signs. Do your students know what astrological sign they were born under? As a class, figure out what zodiac sign each student is born under. Since many students will be born in the same year, you can also have them pick their parents' zodiac sign. Have students print their zodiac sign (you may want to do this in advance), and have them follow the directions. If you have more time at the end of the class, have students read their Zodiac descriptions aloud.
To use the calligraphy activity, start the lesson by talking about handwriting. Do they remember learning to write? Turn the discussion to calligraphy. Set up each student or small groups of students in front of a computer and have them read the paragraph on the importance of calligraphy in Asian cultures. Have the students practice their own calligraphy in the virtual calligraphy activity.
To use the kite project, have students read the paragraph on kites in Asia. Discuss the different ways that kites can be used. Ask students how they use kites. Then print out the kite (you may want to do this in advance), and have students follow the directions.
As a class, you can join the live interview of author Soyung Pak and the bulletin board with author Janet Wong where they can ask their questions about these authors' books, which deal with different aspects of Asian-American cultures. If you cannot attend either live event or have missed them, you can have students come up with a list of questions and then read the interview transcripts to see if any of those questions were answered.
Supporting All Learners
NATIONAL STANDARDS CORRELATIONS
Reading Language Arts
International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (i.e. libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and communicate knowledge.
- Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and to acquire new information to meet the needs and demands of society.
- Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
- Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- Culture (Students learn how to understand multiple perspectives that derive from different cultural vantage points.)
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions (Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.)
- Time, Continuity, and Change (Students study how the world has changed in order to gain perspective on the present and the future.)
- People, Places, and Environments (Students utilize technological advances to connect to the world beyond their personal locations. The study of people, places, and human-environment interactions assists learners as they create their spatial views and geographic perspectives of the world.)
- Global Connections (Students analyze patterns and relationships within and among world cultures.)
Technology Foundation Standards for Students:
- use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
- use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
If you have more time, you can extend the calligraphy activity by having the students practice calligraphy in the classroom. Using paintbrushes, paper, and black paint. Have students copy the symbol from the virtual calligraphy activity they complete online.
Using the Asian American Statistics map, have students create two graphs to show Asian American growth in the United States. Make the first graph a bar graph with the x-axis for the country and the y-axis for the number of immigrants in the U.S. from that country. The second graph would be a line graph with the x-axis for the country and the y-axis for the decade of peak immigration years. Once students have filled out the graphs, have them compare the numbers. What countries have the largest immigration populations in the United States? Which years were popular for Asians to immigrate to the United States? Can you explain these numbers?
Art and Geography
As a class, have the students create a large version of the map of Asia. Have the students color each country in a different color, writing in the statistics provided in the Asian American Statistics section. For countries in Asia for which there are no statistics, have students research the information and fill in the map as completely as possible.
Ask students how they would feel if they were immigrating to the United States from China, just like Li Keng Wong. Have students write fictional journals about coming to America through Angel Island.