Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Colorín Colorado celebrates family traditions and the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Americans with books, activities, and a variety of resources and ideas for ELL educators.

Explore the following:

  • Booklists: Find great books written about a wide range of Asian and Pacific American cultural experiences for children and adolescents.
  • Author Interviews: Watch online interviews with Asian American children's book authors.
  • Information and Resources: Learn about ways to help your English language learners (ELLs) get ahead with our selected resources.
  • Ready-to-use: From webcasts to toolkits, these resources help PreK-12 educators.
  • More resources: Find links to other organizations and resources to help you celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.


Asian Pacific American Heritage Booklists (Grades K-3)

These booklists celebrate the wonderfully diverse cultures of the Asian Pacific. They also reflect the resilience of Asian Pacific Americans who have made this country their home even in the most difficult of circumstances.


APA Heritage Booklist for Adolescents (Grades 4-12)

Numerous books featuring Asian Americans have been published in the last few years, including several Printz and Newbery winners. These titles for students in grades 4-12 explore Asian American identity and experience through historical fiction, contemporary essays and novels, and graphic novels.


Scholastic: Asian-American Stories

With more land, people, and voices than any other continent, Asia has an especially colorful literary presence. Explore these resonant folktales, heartbreaking immigrant stories, and luscious emotional landscapes. Both picture and chapter books are included.


Children's Book Publishers and Blogs: Asian Pacific American Interest

Meet the Author: Interviews & Websites

Grace Lin

Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books for kids and teens. In this interview, Grace talks about being the only Asian in her classroom and shares the moving story behind her stunning Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.


Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park is the Newbery Award-winning author of A Single Shard. In this interview, Park compares writing to sports, questions animal sounds among different countries, and reads from The Firekeeper's Son.


Janet Wong

Janet Wong grew up in Los Angeles where she observed the rich community life that comes from many cultures blending together. In this interview, she discusses writing about what's deep-down important to children: families, traditions, and community.


Laurence Yep

Laurence Yep writes books that draw from his Chinese American background yet speaks to common feelings and experiences. In this interview, Laurence Yep discusses his love for his work and the gratification of writing.


Humble Comics: Comics and Other Stuff Created by Gene Yang

Learn more about comic creator Gene Yang and his award-winning graphic novels!


Information and Resources 

Xiao-lin Yin-Croft

Building Bridges: An Interview with a Chinese Educator of ELLs

Originally from China, Xiao-lin Yin-Croft learned English as an adult and now helps young Chinese students in the U.S. bridge the cultural and language gap that they face from an early age. In this interview, Xiao-lin shares her experiences coming of age as a student in China's Cultural Revolution, and describes the strategies she uses to help her students develop the language skills they need to succeed in the U.S.


From the Classroom: Working with Chinese ELLs

Xiao-lin Yin-Croft offers some insight on Chinese immigrant communities in the U.S. and how cultural influences shape Chinese students' experiences in the classroom. She also offers some ideas about outreach to Chinese parents and describes some particular nuances that Chinese students struggle with when learning English, including details of pronunciation, grammar, and language usage.

Parent Reading Tip Sheets

Our parent reading tip sheets are available in 11 languages, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Hmong!

Articles for ELL Educators

Research Reports: Asian Pacific Students

These reports focus on educational trends, opportunities, and challenges documented within the Asian Pacific population.  Topics include the "model minority" myth and how to support the academic and linguistic needs of diverse groups of Asian Pacific students.


These free tools are designed to help ELL educators in areas such as assessment, reading instruction, and professional development.

More resources

Learn more about the resources that organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution and PBS are offering for Asian Pacific
American Heritage Month.

Background Information

APA Activities and Lesson Plans

National Geographic Xpeditions

PBS Educational Resources

Grades: Pre-K-2

Grades: 1-3

Grades: 3-5

Grades: 4-8

Grades: 7-12

  • KQED: Resettlement to Redress

    Resettlement to Redress: Rebirth of the Japanese-American Community examines the resettlement of Japanese-Americans after World War II through the signing of HR442 by President Reagan in 1988, wherein it was formally acknowledged that interment was based on racism and merited an apology and reparation.

Grades: 9-12

Airing weekly on PBS, the Emmy award-winning series Independent Lens introduces new documentaries and dramas made by independent filmmakers who are taking creative risks.

  • PBS: Asian Pacific American Heritage

    This special PBS collection of stories explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

  • Independent Lens

    This documentary series features stories from the Asia Pacific as well as stories about Asian Americans living in the U.S.

  • Ancestors in America: Asian American

    Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing yet least known groups of immigrants in the United States. Join PBS for an exploration of their history and stories.

  • Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

    Bill Moyers and a group of veteran producers explore the dramatic history of the Chinese in America, and confront myths that have flourished over time about their experiences.

  • American Experience: Daughter from Danang

    In 1975, with the end of the war in Vietnam imminent, Mai Thi Kim, a poor, young Vietnamese woman, sent her seven-year-old daughter to America as part of a controversial evacuation program. The little girl was adopted by a single woman, renamed Heidi and brought up in Tennessee. Twenty-two years later, Heidi tracked down her birth mother and visited Danang. The reunion that had raised so many hopes and expectations for Heidi and Kim quickly became rife with tension and misunderstanding as the cultural gulf between Heidi and her Vietnamese family grew larger and larger.