Reading and Exploring (All Grades)

The Thought

History is personal. Understanding the past is an exercise in using one’s imagination to visualize events, scenery and even people’s emotions. The line between history and imagination is thin. Many authors use personal or family histories to reach out to young audiences. How we encourage students to apply their own personal experiences from the introductory section Connecting Our Histories to the experiences of these characters of different ethnic backgrounds in the following (suggested) readings will continue their journeys into understanding Asian and Pacific Islander American history.


The activities in this section vary per book selection. Each has been developed to engage students in at least one or two of the objectives listed below.

Student Objectives

  1. Students can identify cultural differences and similarities between characters
  2. Students can create a timeline to show how the stories unfolds
  3. Students can identify the characters’ points of view
  4. Students will engage in grade-level appropriate dialogue about culture, ethnicity and nationality.

Time Frame: 

Activities in this section are generally 30-45 minutes in length. There are some suggested activities that encourage students to ask questions outside of class time. The application of these activities in your classroom should also fall within that time frame. If you choose to lengthen the activities, we recommend you add an additional activity of your choosing that would meet one of the objectives listed above.



Materials are identified in each activity.


Readings: (This list will expand as additional lesson plans are uploaded.

Grandfather’s Journey, by Alan Say



When critical to understanding the events or identifying particular objects in the readings, vocabulary words will be listed on each lesson plan.