Teaching Ideas

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Browse this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book List and explore the recipients of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, which honors books that portray Asian and Pacific Americans and their heritage, for titles and resources to incorporate into your literacy work all year long! Explore our Asian American and Pacific Islander cultural experience collections for more!

Connections for Younger Readers

  • Create paper leis with this craft activity, and learn about Hawaiian language and culture with this bilingual complete video reading for 'Ohana Means Family, narrated in Hawaiian and English by Kalei'okalani Matsui.

  • Share the complete video reading of Eyes that Speak to the Stars, then, using question ideas in the “Power of Story” extension activity in this educator guide, ask students to interview a member of their family who is older than them.

  • Make paper marigold garlands and learn about many of the sights and sounds of Priya’s Indian cultural heritage in this complete video reading of Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala.

  • Compare the seasons featured in the book Snow Angel, Sand Angel with the seasons where you live using the Venn diagram in this educators’ guide after watching this complete video reading. As a class, talk about seasons, asking students what they enjoy and what is something they appreciate about where they live.

  • Count along with this bilingual video book reading in Kunwinjku and English of A Kunwinjku Counting Book, then have students create their own drawings of animals in their region.

  • Watch the complete video reading of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, then print recipe, drawing and coloring activities, and even learn How to Make Perfect Bao together. Ask students what is something they like to make or would like to learn how to make?

  • Invite students to become writers of their own story with 13 objects, meals, books, or people as the anchors using the writing activity template in these classroom activities for Niki Nakayama: A Chef's Tale in 13 Bites. Print the coloring pages under Book Guides, Activities & Lessons for students to enjoy.

  • Listen to this audiobook excerpt of I am Golden, which celebrates the author’s Chinese American identity. Extend the lesson with drawing activities, a lotus flower craft, and explore family traditions with this storytime kit.

  • Encourage students to make lists of words and phrases that describe themselves just like the young girl in What I Am does, as you’ll see in this complete video reading.

  • Hear author Jyoti Rajan Gopal talk about the young Indian American protagonist who explores her mix of cultures in this video book trailer for American Desi. Then create a collage or use the poem template from this educator's guide.

  • Sharing food is a great way to share culture. Watch this complete video reading of Bilal Cooks Daal. Using inspiration from this teacher's guide, students can investigate common foods from around the globe and present their findings to each other. Expand discussion by asking, what is a type of food from another culture that you have enjoyed?

Connections for Older Readers

  • Take your students through these teen writing classes by Kelly Yang, author of Front Desk, to learn about different writing elements such as writing from experience, setting, point of view, structure, scenes, and character.

  • Challenge students to complete the author’s stand-up comedy activity after watching the video book trailer for Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

  • Get up and dance K-Pop style with this tutorial after listening to this audio excerpt for I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee.

  • Think about ways we communicate after listening to the Meet-the-Author Recording for Drawn Together and discuss ways to connect with others even across languages.

  • Ask students to write about a piece of their own family history after listening to this Meet-the-Author Recording for Watercress.

  • Hear in this Meet-the-Author Recording how author Erin Entrada Kelly’s experience as the only Filipino in her school informed her book Blackbird Fly and how writing, for her, and music for her protagonist were positive outlets. Have your students think about their passions and hobbies and what brings them joy.

  • Discuss together the importance of media representation after listening to author Simu Lu describe landing the role of Marvel’s first Asian superhero in this audiobook excerpt of We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story. Ask, what do you think having a superhero who looks like you means?

  • Explore the history of ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo and more such as the one discussed in this video book trailer for Last Night at the Telegraph Club, which is set in Chinatown, San Francisco. Have students research one in the United States, how it formed, and how it functions today.

  • Listen to Waka T. Brown’s audio name pronunciation as an introduction to a discussion about names. Ask students questions like: Where did their name come from? Does it have a meaning? Are they named after anyone? What is the story of their name?

  • Guide students through this Guest Blog Post and Invitation to Imagine from Traci Chee for We Are Not Free.