May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and there’s a lot to recognize and celebrate. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander-American (AAPI) people play a large role in the history of the United States and continue to contribute to stronger societies as individuals and as a group.
The contributions of the AAPI community are vast, from art to infrastructure to politics, and much more. Unfortunately, these contributions have often been made in the face of stereotyping and discrimination as well as xenophobia from the broader community.
This month, please join us in commemorating the AAPI members of our communities. For the kids, we have some Ozobot activities that encourage awareness and celebration of these cultures, which we believe is an important part of social/emotional development. Ang Lee, Academy Award-winning director wrote after his Oscar win of his never-ending dream as a Taiwanese American—and at Ozobot, we want all children to find and chase their never-ending dream.
Grades 3-8 | Color Codes | Evo or Bit
Some questions students can research are:
- Why was the Great Wall of China built?
- Why was it important?
- What makes the Great Wall remarkable?
- Why is the Great Wall important to Chinese culture?
Traditions Parade (Adapted)
Grades 1-6 | Color Codes or OzoBlockly | Evo or Bit
One of the things that makes a culture unique is its traditions. Even if a person relocates to a different country, they don’t leave behind their customs and traditions.
For this activity, use the Traditions Parade lesson format, but have students choose any tradition or custom from an Asian or Pacific Island country (not limited to winter holidays). They’ll then create costumes or decorations for their Ozobot and celebrate the different traditions with a parade!
Ozobot Visits Asian and Pacific Islander Neighborhoods | Creative Prompt
Grades 2-12 | Color Codes or OzoBlockly | Evo or Bit
One of the most well-known ethnic enclaves (neighborhoods whose residents are primarily people who share an ethnic/racial identity) is Chinatown. There are Chinatowns throughout the world, including many in the United States. But, Chinatown isn’t the only ethnic enclave. Hundreds more, representing a multitude of different ethnicities, exist or historically existed all throughout the country and around the world.
Help your students expand their awareness of the cultures that make up the United States by prompting them with the following activity:
Step One: Background
- Choose a neighborhood started by a group from Asia or the Pacific Island regions.
- Research the neighborhood you chose and answer the following questions:
- Why do you think people of the same ethnic origins settled in the same location?
- What sorts of shops, restaurants, businesses, places of worship, etc. might you find there?
- What similarities are there to your neighborhood? How are they different?
Step Two: Draw Your Neighborhood & Code Ozobot to Visit
- Using what you learned about your neighborhood, students should draw a map of the different sites in their neighborhood of choice.
- Using Color Codes or OzoBlockly, program Ozobot to visit each part.
- Optional: Narrate Ozobot’s visit, explaining each site’s purpose in the community.
Grades 1-6 | Color Codes | Evo or Bit
We think this idea from educator Nicole Penner on Twitter is perfect for adapting to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander heritage! According to Nicole, “Each student designed a path around the world through one country from their heritage. They created structures, obstacles, and speeches to teach the class about their culture.”
To use this activity to broaden students’ awareness and appreciation for Asian and Pacific Islander people, have them instead choose an Asian Country or Pacific Island to research and create, and then have them share what they learned with the rest of the class.
Grades 3-8 | Color Codes | Evo or Bit
People from Asia were some of the first to inhabit North America. We were inspired by Mrs. Addison on Twitter’s engaging and pedagogically appropriate way to demonstrate this to her students by using Color Codes to have her students research and re-create the path indigenous people took to get to Canada.
- Islands are pretty hard to get to, so how have people been there for so long? Research theories on how indigenous people ended up in Hawaii (or other Pacific Islands) and recreate their journey.
- Immigration has often been tied to hardship in one’s home country. Research a time many people from a country in Asia or the Pacific Islands came to the United States and re-create their journey. What hardships might they have faced? Did their hardships end when they reached the US? What new challenges did they face? What can we do to contribute to making modern immigrants (and their cultures) feel welcome and accepted?
Have you shared and celebrated your AAPI heritage with your students? Or build awareness and appreciation for AAPI people? Comment below on ways to share!