May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Commemorate this annual celebration that recognizes the rich heritages, cultures, histories, and accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the United States. This includes people from the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, as well as those who have origins in the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
Dive into content from Discovery Education and pique your students’ interest in Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
Introducing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Start your AAPI Heritage Month celebrations by learning more about the various cultures and countries that make up the continent of Asia. Check out the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Channel to find articles, audiobooks, podcasts, and activities that reveal how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders celebrate their heritage and continue to shape the United States as activists, authors, and changemakers.
Travel to the Past
Learn about the history of different countries and people of Asia and the Pacific Islands with videos and reading passages from DE! Go back in time to over 1,400 years ago, when the South Pacific Islanders observed the migration of the pacific golden plover. See how the Polynesians followed the flock for over 400 years, and how it eventually led them to the Hawaiian Islands.
Look into the truth of historical women’s experiences with a reading passage that reveals the truth about how women in ancient China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Korea fought in wars. Discover how female skeletons show battle scars consistent with fighting injuries, revealing that women likely fought alongside men in ancient times.
Explore the Cultures
Step into the shoes of different Asian and Pacific Islander cultures by learning about the different countries and their people. With videos from DE, students can see these countries with their own eyes. Introduce younger students to the country of India with this video highlighting five interesting facts about the country of India, including one about a festival where you paint an elephant from trunk to toe!
Take students in grades 6-12 to Cambodia with this video that illuminates the impacts of sand dredging on Cambodia’s identity, values, and survival. Students can hear from a Native Cambodian woman who shows how the manufactured removal of land from Cambodia’s coastline threatens to overpower their culture.
Learn more about the written and spoken languages of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures with this selection of classic fairy tales from Japan, featuring the son of a peach, a cruel stepmother and an enchanted mirror, and a warrior with a mission from the Dragon King! These tales were first translated in 1908 by Yei Theodora Ozaki, based on the Japanese version by Sadanami Sanjin.
Next, share this video that reveals the meaning behind Land of Big Numbers author Te-Ping Chen’s name. In this video, she tells students how she learned to embrace her heritage and how it shaped her identity.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month starts on May 1! Honor the history and contributions of these cultures and countries with engaging resources from Discovery Education for the month of May or throughout the entire school year.