May signifies Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time in which we show support for the AAPI community and honor their contributions. According to the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Asian Americans and Pacific islanders are one of the fastest growing racial groups in the United States, with a community of over twenty-three million people. Unfortunately, fear, violence, and discrimination are deep-rooted in the history of the AAPI community, most recently increased by the global pandemic.
We stand with the AAPI community to celebrate their diverse experiences, traditions, and contributions and reflect upon AAPI resistance to help combat negative sentiment, inequity, and oppression. At Microsoft Education, we believe that educating students about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the classroom is an important way to increasing awareness of their accomplishments and history.
Extend the voices of AAPI people in your classroom
From artwork to legislative change, the impact of the AAPI community cannot go unnoticed. Take time this month (and throughout the year) to spotlight the history, traditions, and experiences of the AAPI community. Use these AAPI resources for educators below to help you get started.
Celebrating AAPI Contributions
- Immerse students in the tradition of haiku using this lesson from the National Endowment for the Humanities that compares classic Japanese poetry to visual art. Encourage students to compose their own haiku. You can assign parts or all the lessons using Assignments in Teams for Education to chunk the lesson into manageable segments or assign group work.
- Introduce students to a Buddhist meditation experience by creating and exploring the quiet beauty of mandalas with this lesson from the Asian Art Museum. Create a Reading Progress assignment in Teams for Education using the “What is a Mandala?” PDF so students can hear the text read aloud using Immersive Reader and practice saying challenging words with Reading Coach.
- Offer students different reading experiences about AAPI history and culture with any of the books on this list from PBS SoCal. Consider recording yourself reading multiple books with Microsoft Stream and create a playlist for students to choose from.
- Check out these lessons from iCivics that explore the contributions of AAPI individuals that changed U.S. legislation. Upload the student PDF into Class Notebook in Teams for Education or use the integrated Kami app so students can annotate and add responses directly to the PDF.
Learning about the History of AAPI Oppression
- Explore the 1896 Hawaiian Language Ban and its impact on Pacific Islanders by viewing this multi-part documentary series from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Use the YouTube app in Teams for Education or embed the videos into PowerPoint to ensure students only access the content they need.
- Engage students in learning about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Then download and add these primary source documents and this timeline from the Library of Congress to a page in the Collaboration Space in Class Notebook in Teams for Education to engage students in collaborative reflection.
- Use this high school activity from the National Archives education division to immerse learners in analyzing a variety of primary source documents and photographs about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Ask students to share their responses in a Teams for Education Assignment.
- Allow students to view one or more webinar videos from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center that dive into the challenges and experiences of the AAPI community across multiple timelines, locations, and identities. If you are able, download the videos you want students to choose from and upload them into a playlist on Microsoft Stream.
Celebrate AAPI history with Flip events
Extend your AAPI Heritage Month celebration with a Flip Live event in May.
Meet NYT Bestselling Author John Cho
May 18, 2023 at 10am PT
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, John Cho, will discuss Troublemaker, his debut middle grade novel which follows Jordan, a 12-year-old Korean American boy, as he makes his way across 90s Los Angeles during the LA Riots to help his father. John will discuss the inspiration behind the book, the joys of writing for young readers, and how the book can be used in classrooms and libraries. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from one of today's most talented and versatile artists!
Throughout the year, with added emphasis in May, we celebrate and stand with the AAPI community. We encourage you to spend some time examining the diverse culture, linguistic heritage, and legacy of Asian American and Pacific Islanders and bring these experiences to your students, staff, and school community.