Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Resources for Teaching about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
Each May, PSEA and the NEA join the national celebration of 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.
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, we recognize this special celebration with four lesson ideas:
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)
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)