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 7.2: Experiences of Korean Americans during the 1992 LA Civil Unrest


​Using interviews of Korean Americans who were part of the 1992 LA Riots, students explore the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest by analyzing interviews of individuals who were part of it. 

Korean American Story. (Source: Logo of The Legacy Project is an oral history project of The concept of the Legacy Project is to provide the Korean American community an easy turnkey process to capture the stories of individuals and families through video recordings.

Activity Questions

  • How were Korean Americans (both those who lived during the event and those who have been born since) impacted by the 1992 Civil Unrest?
  • What are similarities and differences between these experiences?
  • What did they see as some of the causes of the 1992 Civil Unrest?
  • What impact was felt in the Korean American Community?
  • What impacts were felt by other groups (i.e., LAPD, African American population, Latino/Hispanic population, etc.)?

  Instructional Strategies

  • Use the Lesson 7: Saigu – The 1992 LA Civil Unrest presentation to support this lesson.

  Before the Video

  • Introduce the Legacy Project website.

  During the Video

  • Distribute the Legacy Project Video Activity and have students complete the column for the interview you show to the whole class.
  • Show the video, Saigu LA Riots – Hyepin Im, or an alternative video(s) selected from the Legacy Project.

  After Viewing

  • Have students use their devices to select a second interview to view and complete the second column.
  • Invite students to share their analysis with a peer, small group, or whole class

to identify similarities and differences between interviewee experiences and ideas.   Closing Activity

  • End class with review and discussion of the activity questions and how the April’s Way film reshaped or reinforced their answers.



Worksheet on Legacy Project Activity: Impact of 1992 Civil Unrest (PDF)
YouTube Video: Sa-I-Gu (41 minutes)

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