The stories offered here—Immigrant History and Mom’s Story—come from Chinese American storyteller, Nancy Wangs longer story Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy. In this story, Wang explores the history of her own family, beginning with the immigration of her great-great-grandparents from China to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.
This lesson plan uses two stories by Nancy Wang, a dancer, storyteller, playwright, and practicing psychotherapist. Wang studies ethnic dance and has written plays focused on Asian American themes. The stories offered here—Immigrant History and Mom’s Story—come from her longer story Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy. In this story, Wang explores the history of her own family, beginning with the immigration of her great-great-grandparents from China to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. Through this story of her own family history, Wang uncovers the generations of discrimination against Chinese immigrants—both stealth and legally sanctioned—as she explores the relationship in her family, including her own relationship with her mother.
This unit comes with a teacher guide, text of stories & audio-download of stories as well as student activities.
- To expose students to the experience of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.
- To explore the little-known history of exclusion of and discrimination against Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries.
- To examine the connections between family history and personal development.
By the end of this lesson, each student will:
- Be familiar with the tension among immigrants in California in the 19th and early-20th century.
- Understand why marginalized groups might exploit and oppress each other rather than working together to achieve their rights.
- Respond to the issues and themes of the stories
- Relate their own experiences to the stories
Download Bittersweet Lesson Plan (PDF)
The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the Bittersweet lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.
Excerpt #1 — Immigrant History– 9:16 minutes
Excerpt #2 — Mom’s Story– 14:27 minutes
Need help to download the MP3 Story Excerpts? Click here for directions.
About Storyteller Nancy Wang
Nancy Wang, together with her storyteller husband Robert Kikuchi-Ynogo founded Eth-Noh-Tec in 1982. This is is a kinetic story theater company based in San Francisco, weaving [tec] together distinctive cultural elements of the East and West [eth] to create new possibilities [noh]. Eth-Noh-Tec produces and performs contemporary presentations of traditional folktales from the many countries and cultures of Asia through storytelling, theater, dance, and music. Nancy Wang is available for performances in schools and colleges solo, or with her husband as Eth-NohTec.
Full information : www.ethohtec.org.