5 Activities for Teaching Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and honor the contributions, achievements, and rich cultural heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. I started introducing my online students to some influential AAPI figures last year, and we are continuing it again this year with more engaging activities!

Here are five engaging activities to help educators and parents celebrate this important month with students:

Biography Spotlights:

  1. Select influential figures from AAPI history and culture, such as Anna May Wong, Bruce Lee, Kamala Harris, or Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole, and create biography spotlights.
  2. Include key facts, achievements, and contributions of each individual.
  3. Encourage students to research and present these figures to the class, fostering awareness and appreciation of diverse AAPI identities.
  4. If you would like to practice their reading and comprehension skills, you're going to want to have these resources:

These reading escape rooms work if:
  • you want to promote deeper engagement with the reading material.
  • you want to encourage students to collaborate, communicate, and share ideas.
  • you want to enhance students' reading comprehension and encourage close reading.
  • you want to provide an interactive and immersive learning experience.
  • you want students to work efficiently under pressure and stay focused on the task at hand.

Cultural Show-and-Tell: Invite students to bring in objects or artifacts representing AAPI cultures, such as traditional clothing, musical instruments, artworks, or books by AAPI authors. Encourage them to share the significance of these items, promoting cultural understanding and pride.

Food Tasting and Recipe Sharing: Organize a food-tasting event featuring dishes from various AAPI cultures. Provide information about the cultural significance of each dish and encourage students to share family recipes or traditional foods from their heritage. This activity promotes culinary diversity and appreciation for AAPI cuisine.

Interactive Storytelling:

  1. Explore AAPI folktales, myths, or contemporary stories through interactive storytelling sessions.
  2. Use props, visuals, or multimedia tools to bring these stories to life.
  3. Discuss themes, morals, and cultural elements embedded in the narratives, fostering student empathy and cultural awareness.

Art and Craft Workshops: Engage students in art and craft workshops inspired by AAPI traditions. For example, create Japanese origami, Chinese calligraphy, Hawaiian leis, or Pacific Islander tapa cloth designs. Encourage students to explore and express their creativity while learning about different artistic styles and cultural practices.

What is your favorite AAPI activity in the classroom?

Talk soon.

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