Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the Classroom

Throughout the country, moments like Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and this month’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month help teachers to celebrate their students’ identities. AAPI Heritage Month is a time to embrace and highlight the diversity, contributions, and individuals that make up the AAPI community. Here are a few projects from DonorsChoose teachers that celebrate this month in exciting ways!

Representation Matters 

Throughout her six years as a teacher, Ms. Ullman has used DonorsChoose to fill her classroom library with books that tell stories from different points of view. For AAPI Heritage Month, she set up the “Mirrors and Windows in Literature” project to add books that focus on AAPI stories and experiences to her shelves.  She hopes to:

  • help her AAPI students to build confidence in their identities
  • give students of other backgrounds the opportunity to read about cultures outside their own.

From biographies to historical fiction, from graphic novels to picture books, Ms. Ullman works with her students to find books that spark their imagination and make them hunger for more.

See Ms. Ullman’s project

Doing it for the Culture 

Music has a way of connecting us all. Through her “Ukuleles For Our Children Of The World project, Mrs. Cooper is using a class set of ukuleles to help her students connect.

“The school has a large Pacific Islander population, and this resource could help in sharing their expertise and community’s culture with all the kids” — Mrs. Cooper, Grades 3-5, WA

Many of Mrs. Cooper’s students already play the ukulele thanks to the traditional teaching they receive at home. By requesting a class set, she is hoping students can demonstrate their musical skills with their classmates while sharing what they love about their culture. 

See Mrs. Cooper’s project

Meeting your Idols

Asian American history is full of beauty and resilience. Through her Fashion and Asian-American Pride and Resilience project, Ms. Hinds invited TED Talk speaker Christina Chiu to share her personal experiences with Asian American racism along with insights from her career in fashion, writing, and advocacy.

“Ms. Chiu was inspiring and uplifting to students and faculty alike, who said they came away from her talk with a deeper understanding of racism as well as the power of finding your voice and inner beauty.” — Ms. Hinds, Grades 9-12, NY

Thanks to virtual classroom visits, students in Ms. Hind’s library got to connect directly with Ms. Chiu and her powerful story.

See Ms. Hinds’ project

The members of Mr. Blomberg’s Asian Culture Club are just starting their lifelong journey into self-discovery and acceptance. They partnered with Mr. Blomberg to request tickets to the Boston Asian-American Film Festival, an event highlighting Asian filmmakers and actors covering themes like immigration, assimilation, acculturation, and discrimination.

 “While the films and food were beloved, it was the presence of a strong, artistic, self-realized Asian-American woman that brought the energy to the students.” – Mr. Blomberg, Grades 9-12, MA

While at the festival, students enjoyed the food and the music, but it was the films and the filmmakers that made an impression: they even got to meet the festival’s creative producer and founding director!

See Mr. Blomberg’s project

Our teachers love celebrating their students. How are you celebrating identity in your classroom?

Be sure to follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for more project inspiration!

Comments

See also  A Pillar of American Democracy – Moosmosis