Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Road Trip to the Future: Exploring Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions

Mariana DeLoera, Sherry Franklin | Published: June 12th, 2023 by K20 Center


In this lesson, students will learn about the rise of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISi) and the important role they play in postsecondary education. Students will begin by becoming familiar with some of the many famous and successful people who attended AANAPISIs. Then, after reading a short article about the rise of AANAPISIs, they will conduct their own research on an institution of their choice. Students will then create an Anchor Chart that they will share with the rest of the class. This lesson is designed to work in tandem with a campus visit to an AANAPISI, but can work well as a standalone lesson as well.

Essential Questions

  • How is equity being supported in higher education?

  • Why is there becoming a greater need for AANAPISIs?

Learning Goals

  • Students will analyze the historical background of AANAPISI.

  • Students will collaborate to research AANAPISIs, identifying which school best meets their personal and academic goals.


Materials List

  • Device with Internet Access

  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • AANAPISIs Research Project Handout (attached, one per student)

  • Stop and Jot: The Rise of AANAPISIs (attached, one per student)

  • Highlighters

  • Markers/Colored Pencils

  • Big Sticky Note Pad or Butcher Paper

  • Sticky Notes

  • Pen/Pencil

  • Scissors (optional)


Introduce the lesson using the attached Lesson Slides. Display slide 3 with the first essential question: 

How is equity being supported in higher education?

Invite students to reflect on ways that colleges and universities advocate for fairness. If students struggle to respond, break down the term equity as a class.

Once students have responded to the essential question, transition to the next activity. Explain to students that you will be showing them different individuals and giving them a brief background of each one. As you walk students through each slide, have students begin to brainstorm what these individuals might have in common.

Go through slides 4–8. For each slide, give a brief overview of the individuals who are shown.

Using the instructional strategy Tell Me Everything, have students respond to the question on slide 9.

“From politicians to entertainers to entrepreneurs, what might all of these successful individuals have in common?”

Encourage a few students to share their responses, and then move to slide 10. Tell students that all of the individuals mentioned on the slides have graduated from an institution that is classified as an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). Explain that the concept of AANAPISIs originated from the intention of creating equity in higher education.

Display slide 11 and review the lesson objectives with the class.


Display slide 12 and play The Importance of AANAPISIs. Following the video, ask students what stood out the most to them from the video.

Once students have shared responses, display slide 13 and distribute the Stop and Jot: The Rise of AANAPISIs handout. Students will use the Stop and Jot strategy to pause after each section and summarize what they’ve learned in the appropriate section of the handout.

After students have completed reading and filling out the handout, have them discuss their summaries with their elbow partner.

Display slide 14 and pose the second essential question. Have students use their knowledge from the video and the handout as well as their personal thoughts to respond. 

“Why is there increasing need for Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions (AANAPISIs)?”


Divide students into groups of 3-4 and distribute a copy of the attached Research Project Handout to each student. Have students work together to conduct their research, but fill out the information on their own handout.

Display slide 15 and share the instructions for the next steps. Explain to students that they will be researching an AANAPI Serving-Institution. Have students follow the Wakelet AANAPISIs Colleges and Universities, which can also be found on the slide, to see the list of current AANAPISIs. Give them some time to explore the site independently as they prepare to conduct their research.

Have each group choose one school they would like to research. Encourage groups to first look at the schools by state to help them decide which school to research.

Once groups have chosen a school, instruct them to find the school’s official website to conduct their research. If they use any other resources in addition to the school’s website, they should cite those in the “Source” column of their handout.

Instruct students to focus only on the research portion of the handout. They will work on the Anchor Chart in the next part of the lesson.


As students near the end of their research, display slide 16. Share the instructions for completing the Anchor Chart. Students can follow along at the bottom of the first page of their handouts. 

The Anchor Chart should be a visual representation of the research that students have already conducted. Walk them through all of the expectations listed on the handout.

Emphasize that they have plenty of freedom in how they choose to present information in the chart, but they are expected to create well-organized and easy-to-read charts with correct spelling and grammar. They are also expected to include all the required elements outlined in the instructions.

After sharing the instructions, provide students with time to work with their groups to complete their Anchor Charts.


Display slide 17. After students have finished their Anchor Charts, they will engage in a Gallery Walk. Have students hang their posters on the walls of the classroom and distribute a sticky note to each student. 

Have each group elect a spokesperson to stay behind with their poster as the representative of their group. They will be responsible for explaining what is included on the chart and why it is important information for them to know. 

Instruct the rest of the class to rotate to each poster and use their sticky note to leave a question on an Anchor Chart that interests them. When coming up with the question, have students choose the school they are most interested in. If students wish to ask multiple questions, provide extra sticky notes.


K20 Center. (n.d.). Anchor Charts. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Gallery walk / carousel. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Stop and jot. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Tell me everything. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Wakelet. Tech tools.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Equity. In dictionary. Retrieved May 22, 2023, from

YouTube. (2022, September 8). 15 years of AANAPISI. YouTube.