Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Education World offers five lessons to introduce students to Asian American history and culture. Included: Lessons in which students create a book of biographies of Asian Americans, dramatize stories from Asian cultures, and much more.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asians and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest growing racial group in the United States, numbering more than 10 million people, or nearly 4 percent of the total population. The diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander American population includes members of more than 30 ethnic groups who speak more than 300 languages and dialects.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to honor the contributions, heritage, and traditions of Asians and Pacific Islanders. One of the reasons May was chosen for this celebration was to pay tribute to the first Japanese immigrants, who came to the United States in May 1843.
People across the country honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with community festivals, government gatherings, and educational activities for students. Start your celebration of this observance with a selection of lessons from Education World. Read the brief descriptions below for each lesson. Click any headline for a complete teaching resource.
Bonus Lesson Ideas!
After you've completed this week's lessons, ask your students to try these activities:
* Make a chart of English words derived from Asian languages; for example, honcho (Japanese), ketchup (Malay), and tattoo (Tahitian). Check Asian Loan Words in English for other examples.
* Research information about the history of the abacus and complete math problems using an abacus.
* Study Asian forms of poetry; for example, haiku, sijo and renga; then create your own poems!
* Create PowerPoint presentations about Asian and Pacific Island countries.
* Create a mural of notable Asian Americans, present and past.
Asian American Profiles
Students create a book of short biographies about prominent Asian Americans. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Act It Out: Dramatizing Stories from Asian American Cultures
Students read and act out folktales, fairy tales, or myths from various Asian American cultures. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Fun With Origami!
Students complete hands-on activities that teach about origami, an Asian paper-folding art form. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
A Taste of Asia: Banana Pancakes and Other Recipes
Students follow recipes to prepare foods that are common in some Asian American cultures. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Asian American Time Lines
Students create time lines about various aspects of Asian American history. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
AskAsia This site provides a wealth of information about Asia and Asian American culture and history. Check the For Educators section for a host of instructional materials about Asia.
Angel Island This site gives detailed information about Angel Island, the immigration station off the coast of California that processed thousands of Asians who came to the United States in the early 1900s.