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    Resource Center

    Resources for Teachers

    If you are an educator teaching about East Asia, these featured resources are designed for you. The websites linked below offer informative primary sources, organized curriculums, exhaustive resource collections, and other classroom materials aimed at bringing East Asia and Asian America into the classroom. In addition to the generalized resources on East Asia featured here, resource pages designated to specific East Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan) are linked below. You can also find many other online materials listed on The National Consortium for Teaching About Asia's website. Be sure to also visit NCTA's Partner Sites, who provide excellent content on East Asia for K-12 educators.

    Resources categorized by country:


    Asia for EducatorsAsia for Educators

    Asia for Educators (AFE) is an initiative of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. This tool is designed to be used by students and educators at all levels. The provided teaching modules span many topics, including literature, art, world history, and more!



    center for east asian studies logo

    Center for East Asian Studies | External Resources for Educators 

    The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago has a great list of digital resources for educators and learners. Included in this list are links to engaging lesson plans and classroom materials, as well as professional development organizations. Educators can reference this resource compilation for subjects ranging from contemporary issues to ancient history.




    the ocean calls by tina cho

    Children's Books Winners | NCTA

    Children's books are highly effective teaching resources for elementary students. Kids love the engaging language and the bright illustrations that children's books utilize to make literature accessible to young audiences. For this reason, NCTA co-sponsors the Freeman Book Awards to center works by Asian and AAPI authors and stories that center Asia or Asian diasporas. The Freeman awards spotlight outstanding works for both children and young adults. In the Children's category, one can find a list of Winners, Honorable Mentions, and Books of Note from 2016 to 2020. The 2020 Children's Literature Winner was No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon's Battle for Women's Rights in Japan by Jeff Gottesfeld. This non-fiction, biographical story follows the Austrian-American human rights activist, Beate Sirota Gordon, who wrote women's rights into the post-World War II Japanese Constitution. Another notable work from the 2020 Freeman award list is The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho. An inspiring picture book about a young Korean girl and her free diving grandmother.


    storytelling through asian art

    Detroit Institute of Arts Learning Resources

    The Detroit Institute of Arts has developed a lesson resource titled "Storytelling Through Asian Art" which, through a blend of classroom and simulated museum experiences, teaches elementary students about East Asian art and the meaningful materials and symbols used therein. The materials available for download include: an educator resource in the form of a detailed lesson plan targeted for grades 2-5, a complete lesson slideshow in PDF format, an exhaustive list of artwork for the lesson along with sources, and a PDF with additional resources including artwork and activities. "Storytelling Through Asian Art" is available for download free of charge on the Detroit Institute of Arts website.



    Education About Asia PreviewEducation about Asia (EAA) Teaching Resource Journal

    Since the publication of its inaugural issue in 1996, Education About Asia (EAA) has been an invaluable teaching resource for middle and high school teachers. Featuring articles on all areas of Asia, with subjects ranging from ancient cultures and literature to current events; extensive print and digital resources including films, books, videos, curriculum guides, websites, software, and other useful educational tools; plus thematic issues on topics of particular interest. EAA is available in print or readers may access highly searchable digital archives of over 1,500 articles, teaching essays, and lesson plans for no charge.





    Lesson Plans | Asia Society

    The Asia Society's Center For Global Education offers a series of lesson plans with rich materials and formative activities to increase global competency among students from a variety of grade levels. These lessons can fit easily into tight curriculums as their time requirements range from one to three class periods, and they cover a wide range of cultures. Though not all of the resources are centered around Asia, each focus on global culture and allow for Asia to be a constitutive element of the lesson. Grade levels are not specified within the lesson plans, however they are likely suitable for elementary, middle, and junior high school students.


    queer activism taiwanLessons from Gay and Lesbian Activism in Asia  

    The right to equality for LGBTQ+ communities in Asia has been a constant struggle in modern history and activists today are working hard to secure impartiality, freedom from workplace discrimination, and marriage equality. With the importance of LGBTQ+ activism within the context of world history and key international issues, it is essential to include this activism in the narrative and learn from its wins and setbacks. This article, written by Ben Capell and Sherif A. Elgebeily, focuses on LGBTQ+ activism in the leading sinophone nations and the successes and struggles of these movements. The article is a detailed yet comprehensible introduction to LGBTQ+ activism in East Asia and we urge you to check it out.  


     MIT VIsualizing Cultures PreviewMIT Visualizing Cultures

    Visualizing Cultures is an image-driven scholarship platform developed by MIT in 2002. It's goal is to "use new technology and hitherto inaccessible visual materials to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be)." It features a series of topical units focused on East Asia. Visualizing Cultures develops image-driven scholarship and provides the public with previously inaccessible visual primary sources, allowing teachers and students alike to visualize the past.   


    asian america toolkit

    Resources and Strategies for Teaching about Asian America and Responding to Anti-Asian Racism 

    Now more than ever it is necessary for educators to know how to respond to Anti-Asian racism and to create curriculums that effectively teach about Asian America. This toolkit provides resources that offer teachers contemporary context, tools for teaching about Asian American histories, strategies for becoming anti-racist, and information on supporting the mental and emotional health of students facing anti-Asian racism. These resources include articles written by educators, activists, and sociologists as well as highly acclaimed video lessons that provide valuable historical context and information for teaching procedures. Many thanks to the Program for Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado Boulder for this compilation of resources. For more information on this topic, please visit our page titled "Teaching China in the Age of Covid-19." 


    Indonesian Folktales

    Teachable Indonesia: Grades K-8 

    The University of Washington's Southeast Asia Center has created a resource titled "Teaching Indonesia". This resource is engaging for grades K-8 and approaches Indonesian culture from many topics such as geography, language, politics, religion, social media, food culture, folk tales, music, and science. As "Teachable Indonesia" covers a variety of aspects of Indonesia, it can be used in classroom discussions of many subjects.




    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need for online resources has never been greater. The ARNCTA is committed to facilitating teaching and learning about East Asia in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. As we extend our digital presence in 2021, ARNCTA will be developing original resources for teachers. For more information about COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, please visit the CDC's website

    Who We Are

    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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