Course Content
Lesson 1: The Korean Diaspora and Korean Americans
Students are introduced to Korean Diaspora and Korean American immigration patterns and experiences. They compare experiences of Korean Americans in the first and second waves of immigrants and consider how these experiences have evolved over the the 20th century. They analyze oral histories and complete a web-based short research project on locations of Koreans and Korean Americans.
Lesson 2: The First Koreatown and the Legacy of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho
Students explore the life of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho, his immigration to the United States, and his life as an activist and community builder. They examine how the first Koreatown was established in Riverside, California, and compare the experiences of Korean, Mexican, and women citrus pickers and packers. Finally, they identify Dosan's contributions to the United States and Korea.
Lesson 3: ​Immigrant Experiences ​of Korean Americans: The Sammy Lee Story
Students are introduced to the experiences of Korean American immigrants through Sammy Lee’s life story. They reflect upon and critically analyze the responses of Sammy Lee and his family to the racism and discrimination they faced as immigrants, consider ways the immigration laws have changed over the 20th century, and identify ways to advocate for Korean American immigrants.
Lesson 4: The Korean Independence Movement and Korean American Identity in the U.S.
Students situate President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points Peace Program and 1919 speech to congress in the development of the Korean Independence Movement. They engage in a jigsaw activity and examine original documents and news reports from the time period to identify how the Korean Independence Movement shaped and was shaped by the formation of the Korean American identify in the United States. Students compose a letter to President Wilson to encourage the United States to support the Korean Independence Movement.
Lesson 5: Colonel Young Oak Kim: Hero and Humanitarian
Students explore the life of Young Oak Kim, and identify contributions he has made to the United States. They complete a Think/Write/Pair Share/Group Share as they reflect on what it is like to be a Korean American/minority struggling through racial barriers like Young Oak Kim. They explore what kinds of microaggressions Kim encountered and consider how he responded to those actions. Students deepen their understanding of the life of Young Oak Kim as a U.S. citizen, war hero and community activist, and they annotate and discuss an excerpt from the biography, Unsung Hero: The Colonel Young O. Kim Story, by Woo Sung Han. They construct a biopoem and/or an argument essay on his life and contributions to American society.
Lesson 6: Aftermath of the Korean War and Korean Transnational Adoptions
Students explore the ending and aftermath of the Korean War. They learn about the history of the Korean War and what war was like from the perspective of Koreans. Students learn about one of the many groups of displaced civilians whose lives were forever changed by the war, Korean children. They learn how Korean children became central to international aid efforts that led to the advent of transnational adoptions. ​ They analyze an article from 1953 about a Korean transnational adoptee and consider the broader impacts of Korean transnational adoptions on Koreans and Korean-Americans. Finally, students learn about transnational adoptions from the perspective of Deann Borshay Liem, a Korean adoptee.
Lesson 7: Saigu and Social Justice
Students are introduced to 1992 LA Civil Unrest and how it impacted Korean Americans. They reflect upon and critically analyze the responses of various individuals and groups to the unrest, examine issues of justice, and consider the legacy of Saigu for Korean Americans today.
Lesson 8: Korean Americans in the 21st Century
Students explore Korean popular culture in the United States, including K-Pop, Korean and Korean American films, food, and more. They compare and contrast K-POP and American Popular music, conduct short research on an example of Hallyu, analyze films, conduct research for a biographical presentation of a notable Korean American, and compose a memoir essay of their own experiences
Korean American Ethnic Studies
About Lesson

Activity 6.1: Aftermath of the Korean War


Students explore the ending and aftermath of the Korean War. They learn about the history of the Korean War and what war was like from the perspective of Koreans.

Memorial to the “Forgotten War” of Korea with the insignias of the United States Uniformed Services ringed around it. (Source: Wikipedia)

Activity Questions

  • What issues and events contributed to the start of the Korean War?
  • What countries were involved in the Korean War? What were their goals for the conflict?
  • Which of these goals were accomplished? How did the Korean War end?
  • What were experiences of soldiers, civilians, and children during and after the Korean War?

​Instructional Strategies

  • Use the Lesson 6: Aftermath of the Korean War (Activity 6.1) presentation to support this lesson.

  History of the Korean War

  • Teacher introduces the Korean War by using a map to locate the Korean peninsula.

  Before the Viewing:  Think, Pair, Share

  • Let students know they will view the documentary film, Memory of a Forgotten War (38 min. or the trailer which is 12 min.) NOTE: There are images of violence and disturbing stories about war in this documentary film. 
  • Before beginning the video, conduct a Think, Pair, Share for students to share ideas about what they think war is like for North and South Korean soldiers, civilians, and children.  

  During the Viewing

  • Use the Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War, and have students take notes on the experiences of soldiers, civilians, and children before, during, and after the war and also the specific stories told by the interviewees in the story.  

  After the Viewing

  • Have students work in teams or small groups to answer the questions on the Viewing Worksheet.


  • Provide students with the following prompt and allow them five minutes to Quick-write their response. Call on student volunteers to share their reflections.
    • Heebok Kim lived in a hakkobang (cardboard house) for three years, Suntae Chun did menial labor on military bases, Kee Park escaped from the north when her mother gave border guards silver spoons and chili powder, and Min Yong Lee enjoyed the candies and chewing gum given to children by GIs.
    • Write for five minutes on the following questions:
      • How were the experiences of Heebok Kim, Suntae Chun, Kee Park, and Min Yong Lee similar?  How were they different?  What do these stories and the other archival photographs and film footage tell you about the lives of civilians during the war?
      • How do you imagine you would have survived as a young person during the Korean War or similar military conflict?
  • As time permits, have students share their answers and perspectives.

  ​Closing the Activity

  • End class with review and discussion of the activity questions.


  • Lesson 6 Teacher’s Guide (PDF)
  • Lesson 6 Presentation (PDF version downloadable)
  • Handout: Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War (Word)
  • Handout: Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War (PDF)


Viewing Worksheet for Memory of Forgotten War (PDF).
YouTube Video: Memory of Forgotten War (12:35 minutes)

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