By White House proclamation, May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! The resources below will help you explore the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans with students and ask them to think critically about how the roles and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders have been presented in literature and popular culture.
Ask students to consider the portrayal of Asians in popular culture with the resources in Race & Hollywood: Asian Images in Film, from Turner Classic Movies. Analyze the still images and movie trailers to identify how and when Asians are included. Have students consider what happens when non-Asians are cast in Asian roles, after viewing the Asians in Hollywood, Stereotyping of Asians, or Anglos Playing Asians videos on the site.
Explore the writings of Asian American authors with these ReadWriteThink lesson plans:
- Family Memoir: Getting Acquainted With Generations Before Us taps an essay by Korean writer Chang-rae Lee as the basis of an exploration of how familly stories are told.
- Exploring Language and Identity: Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” and Beyond considers how language shapes (and is shaped by) how we think of ourselves and our families.
- Discovering Memory: Li-Young Lee’s Poem “Mnemonic” and the Brain asks students to dissect Li-Young Lee’s poem to consider how memory works and is represented in our writing.
- Asian Picture Books and Asian Chapter Books, from Salt Lake City Library
- Powerful Asian-American Images Revealed in Picture Books, from Kay Vandergrift
- Asian American Booklist, from NEA
For even more resources, you can check out these sites, which offer educational, historical, and cultural materials that can be used in the classroom:
- Asian American Heritage Month,from the Library of Congress
- Asian-Pacific American Heritage, from the National Park Service
- Asian Pacific Americans Heritage Teaching Resources, from Smithsonian Education
- Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, from the Asia Society
- Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, from EDSITEment
- Asia for Educators, from Columbia University