According to the US Census Bureau, Asians and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest growing racial group in the United States, numbering more than 10 million people, or nearly 4% of the total population. The diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander American population includes members of more than 30 ethnic groups who speak more than 300 languages and dialects.
The theme of this year’s Heritage Month is “I Want the Wide American Earth,” chosen by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center to highlight the poem by acclaimed Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan. This is a time to honor the contributions, heritage, and traditions of Asians and Pacific Islanders. One of the reasons May was chosen for this celebration was to pay tribute to the first Japanese immigrants, who came to the United States in May 1843.
Cultural Heritage and Diversity
Reader's Theater: Presenting Asian Folktales (Grades 2-12)
Act It Out: Dramatizing Stories from Asian American Cultures (Grades K-12)
Creating Biographies of Prominent Asian Americans (Grades K-12)
Fun With Origami (Grades 3-12)
Asian American Time Lines (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Lesson plans from the Smithsonian
Lesson plans from the Library of Congress
Music of the Mekong River
Music of Hawai’i
Build Listening Skills with Asian Folktales (Grades K-8)
Asian Americans Who Have Made a Difference
Angel Island (detailed information about the immigration station off the coast of California that processed thousands of Asians who came to the United States in the early 1900s.)