Asian Heritage Month Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

May is designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In this resource, you will find activities to help students across all grade levels learn more about the Asian Pacific culture and to celebrate this month.

Incorporating Asian Pacific Heritage Month into the Curriculum

Since the late 1970s, the month of May has honored the culture, history and traditions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Like other themed months, this month provides a great opportunity to talk to your students about the unique features of the Asian and Pacific Island cultures.

The activities in this lesson will expose students to cultures different from their own, allow them to make connections to the social studies curriculum and prepare them to engage in conversations with people different from themselves. The activities in this lesson plan are intended for middle and high school students, but two could be easily adapted to meet the readiness of elementary students. Two of the activities in this resource are intended for groups, but one can be completed individually.

Country Facts

For this activity, first place students in groups of 4 - 5, then assign each group a country from the continent of Asia or the Pacific Island region. If you teach multiple classes, give students in each class different countries so that you have as many countries covered as possible. Groups will research their assigned country, with the ultimate goal of creating posters that provide at least the following information on their country:

  • Name of the country
  • Map of the region/world that shows the country's location
  • Demographics (major races, religions, language spoken, total population, etc.)
  • What the country is known for
  • Government of the country
  • Three facts about the country's culture

When the groups have finished their posters, place them in different locations around the room. Students will then do a gallery-walk through all of the posters to learn about the countries and the diversity within the region.

  • Materials Needed: Poster board, computer/tablet for research, coloring materials

Internet Exploration and Reflection

One of the difficult parts of teaching Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is that it covers such a diversity of information, people and events. To allow students to explore on their own and connect with pieces of history that they are most passionate about, give students 20 - 30 minutes of free time to explore the official Asian Pacific American Heritage website. This government website can be found via a quick online search.

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