For Educators

Bring Pacific Islander culture into the classroom.

Grades 9 - 10

Lesson plans for grades 9-10

American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai‘i Lesson Plan

Perpetuating Indigenous Cultural Traditions in Diaspora
Grade Levels: 10-12

Native Hawaiians have struggled to maintain their cultural traditions, particularly over the past two centuries of tremendous social transformation. American Aloha explores another turn in the cultural tradition of hula—that of its practice within communities of Native Hawaiians outside of Hawai'i. The kumu hulas featured in the film articulate not only how being away from Hawai'i impacts how they teach students, but also how they must deal with attitudes coming from Hawai'i that regard their efforts as less authentic because of where they are. Through class discussion, guided activities, and writing tasks, students will be able to learn about conducting dialogue and debate in the highly contested arena of the politics of culture. 

Some of the objectives of this lesson plan are to have students understand how Hawai'i's history of colonization has led to the massive decline of Native Hawaiian people and cultural traditions throughout the 19th century; understand issues of cultural identity at stake for Native Hawaiians; and understand issues of authority and authenticity at stake for Native Hawaiians practicing Hawaiian cultural traditions while living away from Hawai'i.

Holo Mai Pele Educator's Guide

This educator's guide contains a history of Hawaiian culture prior to Western contact, a history of hula, a background of the Pele legend, classroom resources, and additional questions for discussion.

The Land Has Eyes Lesson Plan

How Is Media, Such as Film, Used to Influence Audiences Regarding Events in the Pacific Area?
Grade Levels: 9-12

In this lesson plan, The Land Has Eyes will be used to analyze the filmmaker's perspective of events. Students will develop their knowledge of historical events in the Pacific and their ability to examine the use of media to influence audiences regarding events in the Pacific area.

Matters of Race Teacher's Guide

Grade Levels: 9-12

Matters of Race is a four-part documentary series that explores race, culture, and identity in the United States today. Each of the 60-minute programs focuses on a single story or set of stories that reveals how “matters of race” continue to shape and misshape American life. Each program challenges conventional thinking about difference and raises important questions, such as: What is race? How does it shape identity and inform relationships between self and other? How do notions of race shape a community? A nation? What is the relationship between race and power? and How are long-held notions of difference based on race changing today? 

This study guide is designed to help teachers use Matters of Race in the classroom by providing activities, information, and questions that prompt discussion and reflection. The guide is divided into three parts: the first contains three short readings followed by questions and activities that prepare students for the series by raising questions about such key concepts as race, identity, culture, and history. The second section provides suggestions for using the series in the classroom and contains a summary of each film, curriculum connections, a central question, and activities that explore that question from various vantage points. In the third section, questions and activities encourage students to evaluate what they learned from the series as a whole and consider how they might apply their insights and discoveries to their own communities.

Then There Were None Lesson Plan

How Can Hawaiians Prevent the Extinction of Their Race and Their Culture?
Grade Levels: 6-12

Then There Were None recounts the history of the decline of the Native Hawaiian culture and population. Designed for middle school students, this lesson plan will use the film as a starting point to study: colonization, extinction and how/if it applies to people, foreign arrivals to Hawai'i and their effect on Native Hawaiian culture and people, and Native Hawaiian health pre-  and post-contact.

Then There Were None Lesson Plan

Will Sovereignty Prevent the Extinction of the Hawaiian Race and Their Culture?
Grade Levels: 6-12

Using the film as a starting point, this lesson plan will explore this essential question: Will sovereignty prevent the extinction of the Hawaiian race and their culture? Some of the issues students will seek to understand are: the causes of the overthrow and the Native Hawaiian perspective, the influence of foreigners and foreign governments on the Hawaiian monarchy and the move toward the overthrow, and sovereignty initiatives and the most popular models of sovereignty.

Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey Website

Centuries before European explorers ventured beyond their shorelines, the ancestors of today's Polynesians had sailed to every habitable island in the far corners of the Pacific. This ancient Polynesian sea voyaging tradition comes to life again in Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey. This website features extensive articles about Polynesian history and origins and the studies and theories about Pacific migration. It also features interviews with experts, a Sharing Stories section, and more articles about wayfinding and the expedition featured in the program.