Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Classroom Resources and More!

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The term AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) is as broad as it is deep. To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re sharing a diverse collection of resources that highlights the history and culture of a number of ethnic groups — while in no way exhaustive or fully representative, we hope that these links will inspire you to learn more about the many facets of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

  • Start here, with the official Asian Pacific American Month website. There you can find audio and video resources, and plenty of material for lesson planning in the National Archives.
  • Learn more about Yuri Kochiyama, civil rights activist, via the Smithsonian Institute.
  • Data disaggregation is a big deal in the AAPI community.  Learn more in this Data Disaggregation video from Secretary of Education John King.
  • There are many, many great articles about dismantling the “model minority” myth and the ways that it perpetuates inequality and pits Asian Americans against other minority groups in the United States; here’s just one, from Race Files, that’s worth reading.
  • From beauty queens to botanists, click here to read about influential Hawaiian women in history.
  • Did you know that poor health and mental well-being is an issue in many AAPI communities across the country? Read more here, from the Office of Minority Health.
  • The Smithsonian’s “Beyond Bollywood” online exhibit showcases the many faces of Indian Americans and their impact on the United States.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) is a human and civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. Check out their website to learn more about their causes and commitments.
  • Check out this awesome booklet of resources for teaching about Islamic arts and history.
  • Wondering who the NH/PI people are? Check out this map and discover more about the people of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.
  • Teaching about the Japanese American internment camps in WWII can be tricky — use these multi-age lesson plans as a springboard for deeper learning.
  • PBS has an online collection of videos to celebrate AAPI heritage; you can view them here from your computer, courtesy of public media!
  • Curious to know how AAPI leaders are playing a role in modern politics? See the list of 50 AAPI appointees of the Obama administration.

And of course, follow Teach For America’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative on Facebook for year-round AAPI news!