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Celebrating Asian and Pacific-Island Heritage


Each May -- during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month -- we take time to recognize the special contributions of people of Asian and Pacific-Island heritage. The lessons here introduce students to famous Asian Americans and explore their origins and their literature. Included: Five lessons and worksheets.

May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. APA Heritage Month originated in June 1977 when Representatives Frank Horton (New York) and Norman Y. Mineta (California) called for the establishments of Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. Hawaii senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills passed and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the resolution.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush expanded the celebration from a week to a month. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated each May to commemorate the arrival (in May 1843) of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States.

This May, Education World recognizes this special celebration with


Click each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grade levels for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

Famous Asian Americans
Match the names of famous Asian Americans to their accomplishments. (Grades 3-12)

Asian Americans: Where Do They Come From?
Learn about some of the places Asian Americans come from. (Grades 3-12)

Up-Close With Author Allen Say
Chat online with Allen Say, author of Grandfather's Journey and Tea With Milk. (Grades K-8)

Build Listening Skills With Asian Folktales
Use Asian folktales to test students listening comprehension. (Grades K-8)

Reader's Theater: Presenting Asian Folktales
Transform Asian folktales into Reader's Theater scripts. (Grades 2-12)