May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month.
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. Check out this teacher resource page.
It’s a great month to focus our studies, our reading and watching materials on Asians and Pacific Islanders. But we shouldn’t just limit our learning about other cultures to one month out of the year!
Often in our curriculum, the white narrative dominates and I must be diligent to seek out sources and materials to honor all cultures and peoples.
I try really hard to teach my white children about other cultures, about immigrants, and the experiences of people not like us. Sometimes, it’s uncomfortable and that’s where the learning happens. I love learning along with my kids!
I update our studies every history cycle, adding more inclusive material to our lists each time. Lots of book lists and more here:
We lived in Hawaii for three years. We loved it.
But we realized we were temporary, other, haoles in Paradise, and it wasn’t our land. Looking back, I realize there was so much more I could have learned, done, thought. My girls were very young and I can make amends now as we learn about the history and culture of Hawaii. The kids don’t even remember it.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.Maya Angelou
Our Hawaii Travels
- Big Island Hawaii with Kids
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Maui with Kids
- Oahu with Kids
- Honolulu with Kids
- North Shore with Kids
- Kaneohe with Kids
- Our Kaua’i Weekend
- Our Ni’ihau Day Trip
- Makahiki – Thanksgiving in Hawaii
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
- I love Amy Tan. Joy Luck Club and all her others! I think I’ve read them all.
- Jhumpa Lahiri is another jewel. I love her books! The Lowland and The Namesake are great!
- Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
- Home Remedies: Stories by Xuan Juliana Wang
- This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila
- Frankly in Love by David Yoon
- Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy by Kevin Kwan
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong
- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
- Ask Me No Questions by Marina Tamar Budhos
- Bamboo People and Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins
- Born Confused series by Tanuja Desai Hidier
- Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi C. Rose
- Candy Shop by Jan Wahl
- Hannah Is My Name by Belle Yang
- Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Sherri L. Smith
- Two Mrs. Gibsons by Toyomi Igus
- American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
- Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng
- The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland
- Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo
- Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Yoo
- A Step From Heaven by An Na
- Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong
- Project Mulberry and A Single Shard by Linda Soo Park
- Under the Blood-red Sun and Island Boyz: Short Stories by Graham Salisbury
- Little Cricket by Jackie Brown
- Fresh Off the Boat by Melissa De la Cruz
- Beacon Hill Boys by Ken Mochizuki
I believe in exposing young children to other cultures and getting them familiar with differences so they don’t feel uncomfortable. The first time I had Asian food, I was twelve! I don’t think my parents did a good job on some aspects of my education.
Dine out at an Asian restaurant and try new foods. Research before you go so it’s not an expensive waste since the flavors and presentation are very different than typical American food. Some foods are very spicy to a white palate used to bland food!
Learn to cook Asian food! Sushi, stir fries, and soups are easy first steps.
Visit an Asian festival to learn more about the culture and support immigrants.
Go to museum exhibits on Asian art.