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Asian Pacific American Heritage Teaching Resources
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Each year, the Smithsonian honors Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a calendar full of activities. Visit the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website each May for more information on the events in the Washington, D.C., area.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Calendar
Transforming Language: Xu Bing’s Monkeys Grasp the Moon
Transforming Language: Xu Bing’s Monkeys Grasp the Moon In this set of four lessons, students learn a traditional Chinese folktale and examine a contemporary artwork that’s based on it. The work, Xu Bing’s Monkeys Grasp for the Moon, is an installation made up of the word monkey in more than a dozen languages. Students create their own word-based works.
Transforming Language: Xu Bing’s Monkeys Grasp the Moon
The Japanese American Internment: How Young People Saw I
The Japanese American Internment: How Young People Saw I Students learn of the experiences of children and teens in World War II internment camps in this set of four lessons. Younger students read (or listen to) Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. Older students read the letters of teenage internees.
The Japanese American Internment: How Young People Saw It
Creating Hawaii
Creating Hawaii In this set of four lessons, students learn about a state’s history and culture by exploring the Smithsonian exhibition, Creating Hawai’i. Younger students organize the exhibition into categories. Older students look at Census Bureau statistics and develop theories of why Hawaii is “the most ethnically diverse state in the nation.”
Creating Hawaii
Vietnamese American Lesson Plans
Vietnamese American Lesson Plans These four units on Vietnamese American history focus on resettlement and contributions. The curriculum includes a timeline and bibliography.
Lesson Plan
Korean American Lesson Plans
Korean American Curriculum Lesson Plans This curriculum guide includes lesson plans on Korean American history, Korean American literature, and the subject of adopted children from Korea. Each lesson includes background information, a timeline, and a bibliography.
Lesson Plan
Lunar New Year Stamps
Lunar New Year Stamps Observed by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage, the Lunar New Year is a time of modern festivity and ancient tradition. As the celebration became widespread in America, the U.S. Postal Service responded with stamps that illustrate some of its most notable symbols and signs, including a tiger, an ox, and a rat. In this set of four lessons, students examine the stamps and learn some of the back story.
Lunar New Year Stamps
The Filipino American Story
The Filipino American Story Two young characters, Marissa and Jordan, serve as hosts of this multimedia curriculum guide. The lessons present Filipino American history and culture as a means of considering broader ideas of ethnic heritage. The site includes a section for students.
A Century of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways If you’re interested in that broadest of all musical categories, “world music,” you won’t find a better site than Smithsonian Folkways, which contains 40,000 tracks from the Smithsonian Folkways archives. Albums and individual songs are available for purchase and download. For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Smithsonian Folkways offers free music and videos by artists from both sides of the ocean and points in between. An online exhibition is included.
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways
Letters from the Japanese American Internment
Tetsuzo Hirasaki This lesson plan tells the story of friendship between a San Diego children's librarian and a group of young people sent to an internment camp during World War II. Their correspondence is the basis for lessons using letters as primary sources.
Lesson Plan
Hawaiian Lu'au
Orchids The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage presents a virtual lu’au, complete with music and (virtual) food. Those who have been to Hawaiian hotel lu’au will find this a very different experience.
Online Festival
On Gold Mountain_ A Chinese American Experience
Chinese American workers in California Learn about the “Gold Mountain Travelers,” more than 322,000 Chinese immigrants who came to the United States between 1850 and 1882 searching for freedom and prosperity in California.
Online Exhibit
Asian Pacific American History and Culture
World War II uniform & medals of Japanese American This compendium of web links is part of Encyclopedia Smithsonian.
Encyclopedia Smithsonian
The Art of Buddhism: A Teacher’s Guide
Buddha Statue from the Freer Sackler Galleries Learn about the history of Buddhism and how to find innovative ways to include the study of Asia in curricula.
Online Guide
Puja: Educator’s guide
Contemporary Indian poster of the goddess Durga The guide explores the many facets of Hindu worship. It includes background information, activities, a bibliography, and a “discussion with young American Hindus.”
Educator's Guide
The Art of the Islamic World
Islamic transcript Learn about three especially important categories of artistic expression in Islam: the art of the book, the art of the mosque, and the art of the portable object.
Teacher's Guide
Japan Images
Japanese screenprint of a woman The lesson plan introduces the traditional Japanese art of screen painting. Students compare a Japanese screen to an American landscape painting, looking for cultural and geographical information.
Lesson Plan

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