Soundtrap Culture Capsule: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In the spirit of celebrating the extraordinary contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Soundtrap for Education team has put together a series of powerful activities that spotlight Asian and Pacific Islander history, culture, and innovations. We hope you use Soundtrap to bring these stories to life in your classrooms this month and beyond!

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Student Activities

Historical Impact of Asian Americans, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have had such a profound impact on the history of the United States. In this activity, you will learn about important figures and how they impacted U.S. history.

Step 1. Pick one Asian American, Southeast Asian, or Pacific Islander from the list below:

  • Mazie Hirono
  • Fred Korematsu
  • Tereza Lee
  • Larry Itliong
  • George Helm Jr.
  • Yuri Kochiyama
  • Amanda Nguyen
  • Mamie Tape
  • Wong Kim Ark
  • Bhagat Singh Thind

Step 2. Read and research (podcast interviews, career profiles, video interviews, etc.) about the trailblazers of your choice below. ✏️Take good notes!✏️

Step 3. Log into Soundtrap and record an audio response to the following questions:

  • Why did you pick this person?
  • What’s something new you learned about them from their biography?
  • How did this person impact history?
  • What question do you have? What are I going to explore after learning about this person?

Activity Option #2: Food Journey

Share a narrative from one of your favorite AAPI cuisines by recording a 5-8 minute audio project that answers the following prompts provided below. (Need some inspiration? Check out this list of AAPI dishes!)

  • Name of the recipe/food item
  • The country or place of origin of that particular recipe/food item
  • A brief explanation of what purpose the recipe serves at your table (i.e. Is this dish served as an appetizer, entree, or dessert? Is it an everyday dish, or just for special occasions?)
  • A step-by-step guide on how to prepare the dish
  • Use sensory details to describe the dish of your choosing: What does it look like? Smell like? Taste like?
  • What does this dish symbolize or mean, to you?

*Use the loops library to incorporate sounds into your recording.

Bonus: Interview 1-2 people from your family or community to explain what that particular dish symbolizes to them

Activity Option #3: Virtual Museum Space

There are so many beautiful AAPI cultures and art to explore. Henceforth, we invite you to check out these virtual exhibits and find (at least!) one that is particularly inspiring or exciting:

Step 1. Give students the voice and choice to select a piece of art they feel passionate about from the suggested collections.

Step 2. Each student then creates a podcast project and uses the “I see, I think, I wonder” protocol to narrate alone or with a partner:

  • I See… exactly what you see. Fact-based, visual cues, and the more details, the better! Examples: A lot of yellow and blue colors. A large sculpture.
  • I Think… predictions or presumptions about what you can see in the art. Examples: There are two people on the right side of the painting. They’re walking to the market.
  • I Wonder… questions that engage students beyond initial visual assessments. Examples: What material is this made from? Is it tough or soft? Who was the recipient of the art? Additionally, when was it created?

Extra credit: Add sounds/music to your narration using our Soundtrap Loops Library!

Extension: Find examples of Asian art in your local community. This could be anything from murals to jewelry, sculptures to short stories.

Let’s Explore Musical Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ Instruments

Select an instrument to learn more about them:

Percussion

Strings

Winds

Use these SNEAK PREVIEW Soundtrap loops to remix a song or record a reflection on what you’ve learned:

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • From which country does the instrument come?
  • What do you notice about the instrument? What do you wonder?
  • Are there any specific patterns you notice in the music?
  • Does this music remind you of anything in your life?

More AAPI Heritage Month Student Examples and Teacher Resources

Submit student projects here