May Monthly Art Challenge! Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month



Image shows student artwork with the words "Monthly Art Challenge" and Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month

Happy May, teachers!

May is officially here, season of field trips, and all the school activities! If you're looking for a great lesson to finish out the year in a personalized way, while your students do a little self-reflecting and learn about a few amazing Asian and Pacific Islander artists, this project is for you! The attached files have everything you need to get started!


Student stands in a winter landscape, with a tent and campfire in the background, and silhouettes peering in a telescope.

This month, students will have the opportunity to meet Pao Houa Her, Hokusai, and Kapulani Landgraf, and briefly study their works of art. Each of these artists has a profound body of work, with the central themes of landscapes and identity. Ranging from printmaking to photography and even art installations, their wide body of work provides a lens into each artist's personal story, encouraging students to also tell their own story through their work.


A page from the attached document shows Pao Houa Her, Kapulani Landgraf, and Hokusai with a gallery of a few of their pieces.

In this project, students will dive into an exciting iPad project that's all about celebrating diversity, fostering creativity, and empowering students to express their unique identities. Students are encouraged to unleash their creativity by partnering up to capture a photograph of themselves, then adding a landscape backdrop and incorporating elements that represent their traditions, cultural heritage, interests, personality, and everything in between. The BEST part....They're doing it all using the Markup tool built right into the Photos app on their iPads. The Pages document (attached to this post) even contains a gallery of images to walk you through the process step by step, ensuring every teacher can be successful implementing this project.

What makes this project special is the power of technology combined with the creativity of our students. With just a few taps and swipes, students are able to transform ordinary photographs into works of art that celebrate where they come from and what makes them who they are. The sense of pride and empowerment that comes from seeing themselves reflected in the art they create is by far the BEST part of creating art with students of any age. It's a reminder that our everyone can create art, and this project in particular showcases that differences are what make us beautiful, and that each of us has a unique story to tell.

This project is part of an ongoing collaboration among Apple Distinguished Educator Art Teachers, a group of passionate educators celebrating diversity and bringing artists from a variety of backgrounds to the classroom, through technology-infused creative projects, suitable for a variety of classrooms (even outside of the art room!)


A student is shown with a sunset background, apple tree, picnic blanket, pumpkin and fireflies, representing her identity.

Through this project, we hope to not only inspire students to embrace their uniqueness but also foster a sense of belonging and understanding among diverse communities. By sharing ideas and resources, we hope to igniting a spark of creativity that can spread in classrooms around the globe.

So, here's to embracing diversity, fostering creativity, and empowering the next generation of artists, thinkers, and changemakers. With their creativity, the sky's the limit!

If you enjoy using Markup, be sure to check out the Pop Art project, or the Lessons that Pop.

Student photographs are fair use images, courtesy of



All Comments

Posted on May 03, 2024

Wonderful addition to your amazing art series. This is so simple yet a powerful reflection on identity and culture for learners - all done with the Markup tool. Thank you, perfect for the month of May!

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