Make a list of everything that comes to mind when you think about Hawai`i. What do these things tell you about Hawaiian culture?
Do you think Queen Lili`uokalani's songs would have had such lasting popularity if they had not blended Hawaiian culture and traditions with Western styles of music? Why or why not?
Based on what you read in the article, do you think Queen Lili`uokalani's music is more valuable as an example of Hawaiian culture or as a source on Hawaiian history? Why?
According to the article, Hawai`i's Queen Lili`uokalani lived, led, and modeled the sense of "aloha" for her people. What does this mean? How did it contribute to Hawai`i's loss of sovereignty and the decades of cultural oppression that followed? And how can it help Hawaiians reclaim their culture today?
- Invite students to identify and share what they know about various Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures. If you wish, display this graphic from the United States Census Bureau to appreciate the diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the United States.
- Have students select one Asian American or Pacific Islander population. Give them time to conduct research to learn more about its culture and traditions. Then instruct students to select one aspect-such as music, a form of writing, a sport, a food, clothing, etc.-that is particularly important in the culture they chose.
- Encourage students to choose an appropriate method to share that part of the culture with the class. For example, they might find sheet music and perform a traditional song, host a fashion show or find or create examples of artwork to create a cultural art exhibit. Provide a variety of art supplies and other materials needed to complete their projects.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a migratory museum that brings history, art and culture to you through innovative community-focused experiences. Invite students to learn more about Asian Pacific American cultures as they explore the center’s exhibits, labs and projects.
In this Smithsonian Education lesson, students of all ages can learn about the state’s history and culture by exploring the Smithsonian Exhibition, Creating Hawai`i. Younger students organize the exhibition into categories. Older students look at Census Bureau statistics and develop theories of why Hawaii is “the most ethnically diverse state in the nation.”
Use this lesson from the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to help students discover the island cultures of the South Pacific and their musical expressions with songs, crafts and games.
Explore Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with your students using these lessons, podcasts, activities and primary resources form the Smithsonian’s History Explorer.
As a lieutenant, Chew-Een Lee faced an uncommon obstacle, his men had never before seen an Asian Marine. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to hear his story.
This collection from the Smithsonian Learning Lab contains a diverse set of resources related to Asian Pacific Americans. The items, which can be printed as flashcards, could be used as an introductory activity to spark discussion and prompt students to conduct research about how Asian Pacific American history is American history.
Use this lesson from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to help students explore the music of the Pacific islands of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, including their instruments and cultural similarities. Students will identify types of instruments used to create the music, notate basic rhythms and melodic contour and compare the music among the three cultures.
In the remote, tropical paradise called Ha`ena, the community is reasserting Native Hawaiian stewardship of the land and sea. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how.