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Teacher's Guide and Resources for Additional Information

A Guide for Teachers 

This is a list of suggestions for student research projects and activities.

Key Terms
Boat People
Picture Brides
Internment Camps
The Chinese Exclusion Act
Reeducation Camps
The Thind Case
Wong Kim Ark
Bataan Death March
Tae Kwon Do
Moon Festival
Chinese New Year

• Write a research paper on one of the above vocabulary terms that includes outside research.

• Invite speakers from the Asian American Association of New Mexico or various Asian-American cultural groups and organizations to come to your class to discuss the different Asian cultures and histories.

• Break the classroom into groups. Assign each group a section of the booklet and prepare a presentation, including posters, pictures, etc., to the rest of the class on what they learned. What did they find most interesting about their section? What would they still like to learn about that culture?

• Ask the students to compare the experiences of the different groups of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans once they arrived in America. How are they similar? How are they different?

• Many Asian groups began their lives as immigrants as plantation workers in Hawaii. Ask your students to imagine that they just left their home nation in Asia and arrived on Hawaii. Have them write a journal of their experiences. What is life like for them in Hawaii? Where do they work? Would they choose to stay in Hawaii, or move to the mainland U.S.?

• Find a large map that details East Asia and the Islands of the Pacific. Locate all of the nations to which Asian Americans trace their heritage. Also locate the Islands of Samoa, American Samoa, Tahiti, Guam, and Hawaii. What factors brought peoples of so many nations and cultures to the U.S.?

• Some Asian groups arrived in the United States as refugees. For each Asian-American group that came as refugees, have students write a report on the situations that made them flee their countries and their first experiences in the U.S. How are the experiences of these groups similar? How are they different?

• World War II was a major turning point in the lives of many groups of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Ask your students to write a report or prepare a presentation on how different groups of Americans were affected by World War II. Remember to include Hawaiians, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, and others.

• Develop a timeline that points out the major laws that were passed that affected Asian immigration to the U.S. Then, include the dates of the major waves of immigration for each Asian and Pacific Islander group. How did the laws affect immigration from Asia and the Pacific Islands? Why were certain laws passed at certain points in history?


1. Why did most Asian immigrants travel to Hawaii?
2. What major immigration law opened the door for many Asians around the world to travel to the U.S.?
3. Who was General Douglas MacArthur?
4. What are the two religions of the majority of Asian Indians in New Mexico?
5. What was the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act and which Asian group did it apply to?
6. What was the name of the all Japanese-American Unit that served in World War II?
7. Who developed the “NuMex Big Jim” green chile in New Mexico?
8. What religion do the majority of Korean Americans practice?
9. Which Hawaiian King was known as the “Merry Monarch?” Why did he earn this title?
10. What is the Santacruzan?
11. How do Chinese Americans celebrate Chinese New Year?


1. Many first traveled to Hawaii to work on sugar and pineapple plantations.
2. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965
3. He was an American General during World War II who led the U.S. Forces during the battle for the Philippines in 1944-1945.
4. Hinduism and Sikhism
5. This Act applied to children in Vietnam who were born to Vietnamese mothers and American fathers during U.S. involvement in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. The Act allowed these Amerasians to enter the U.S. as “immigrants” but enjoyed all of the benefits of refugees.
6. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team
7. Roy Nakayama
8. Christianity
9. King Kalakaua was called the “Merry Monarch” because he enjoyed hosting large feasts. He also tried to lead a revival of Hawaiian culture during his reign in the late 1800s.
10. The Santacruzan is a Filipino religious celebration that commemorates St. Helena’s finding of the Holy Cross.
11. Chinese New Year is celebrated in many ways, including the dragon and lion dances, and giving children Lai-See. Chinese New Year was also traditionally considered to be everyone’s birthday. 


Resources for Additional Information:

Asian Americans

Asian American Association of New Mexico

New Mexico Asian Family Center

Asian Americans Teaching and Learning Resources (Education Resources from the Federal Government)

Asian Nation: Asian American History, Demographics, and Issues

Chinese Americans

Chinese American Citizens Alliance

Albuquerque Chinese Culture Center

Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

American Experience: The Gold Rush

Vietnamese Americans

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

The Fall of Saigon: New York Times Articles

Asian Indian Americans


ABQ India

Albuquerque Sikh Gurudwara

Hindu Temple Society of New Mexico

Guru Nanak Gurdwara

PADMINI New Mexico

Filipino Americans

Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande Chapter

The Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico

Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico, Inc.

Japanese Americans

Japanese American Citizens League

New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League

Japanese American National Museum

National Japanese American Historical Society

Korean Americans

Arirang: An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience

Korean American Museum: Korean American History

National Association of Korean Americans

“The Korean Americans: A Century of Experience” of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program

Thai Americans

Wat Buddhasothorn (Buddhist Center of New Mexico)

Laotian Americans

Lao Heritage Foundation

Pacific Islander Americans and Native Hawaiians

State of Hawaii

The Island of Guam

American Samoa

The Northern Mariana Islands – Marianas Visitors Authority

Other Resources

Albuquerque Arts Alliance: Ethnic Cultures Survey:
Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation

“Immigration . . .” (The Library of Congress)

Timeline of U.S. Diplomatic History (United States Department of State)

United States Department of State – Background Notes

Office of Refugee Resettlement

Pacific Coast Immigration Museum

Multicultural America

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