May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. Here’s a short explanation of its background from Infoplease:
“In May 1990 …President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”
I’m not very pleased with this post — I know there’s a lot more out there, but I just haven’t had the time to research it as well as I would like to have done. I wanted to get this out before the end of May. By the time next May comes around this will be a much better list.
You might also be interested in The Best Websites To Learn About The Hmong.
I’ve divided the list into “Student” and “Teacher” resources.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (not in order of preference, and that are, of course, accessible to English Language Learners):
Scholastic has quite a good collection of accessible resources related to Asian Pacific American Heritage.
This is a movie about Chinese immigrants.
Minnesota Public Radio has a report on the history of Hmong migration (it was done in 1999, so doesn’t include the most recent influx, but it’s still good). Audio support is provided for the text.
These are the sites where I have my United States History class learn about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II:
Watch this video and do the three activities under “Explore.”
Watch this slideshow about what happened to Japanese-Americans.
You can find additional resources at The Best Resources For Chinese New Year.
We have a good number of students from the Marshall Islands at our school. Here are a few related resources:
How Stuff Works has a brief overview of the islands.
Check-out panoramic images of the islands.
Here’s a slideshow of the islands.
CBS News has a “Fast Facts” sheet on the islands.
The Marshall Islands Journal is a local newspaper website.
Here’s a video report on weapons testing in the islands.
The BBC has a Marshall Islands country profile
Marshall Islands Facts comes from National Geographic.
Climate Change Has Reached Our Shores is by the President Of The Marshall Islands, and appeared in the New York Times.
Here are also some other Asian New Year celebrations:
There’s an annual huge Hmong New Year celebration here in Sacramento. You can access a large collection of images from previous years here.
And here is an interactive on the Vietnamese Tet New Year.
Despite its tacky name, The South Pacific’s Fantasy Islands is a slideshow from LIFE has some nice photos.
Never Lost is an impressive interactive from The Exploratorium on Pacific Islander boats.
Colorin Colorado has resources on the month specifically for ELL’s.
Infoplease has a lot of resources, though most are not necessarily accessible to ELL’s and would have to be modified by a teacher. But it’s a great site, nevertheless.
The Smithsonian Institution has Asian Pacific American Heritage teaching resources.
Read Write Think has lesson plans, too.
And so does Thinkfinity.
Most of these lessons (apart from the resources at Colorin Colorado), though, would have to be modified for ELL’s.
U.S. official cites misconduct in Japanese American internment cases is a fascinating article in The Los Angeles Times discussing how the present United States Solicitor General is apologizing for the misconduct of one of his predecessors for his role in defending Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. During the war, he chose not to reveal a government study concluding that Japanese-Americans were not a risk to U.S. security.
World War II: Internment of Japanese Americans is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.
Suggestions and feedback, as always, are welcome.