Alaska Geography:Northwest

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Geography of Alaska’s Northwest: Anna’s Long Walk

This is an learning activity that integrates history, map reading skills, geography, reading and writing. It also provides insight to the route of the All Alaska Sweepstakes dog sled race between Nome and Candle, Alaska.

BSSD Standards Addressed

SS.A.14 Identifies geographical regions and features of Alaska.


1-2 periods

Materials Needed

Text: Shadows on the Koyukuk, by Sidney Huntington

Shadows koyukuk.jpg

According to the Alaskool Book Review of Shadows on the Koyukuk:

This book fits the bill if you need to read about: outdoor survival; big game hunting; trapping; Alaskan Native Education in the 1920s; history of Alaska from about 1900 to 1980 - especially the 1920s and 1930s; Athabaskan culture and history; the food chain biology of the Koyukuk region; economics of trapping, gold mining, and trading in Alaska.

Map:You’ll need a printed copy of Alaska showing detail between 152º - 167º W and 61º-69º N. (You will probably want to use the smaller working map in conjunction with a larger, more detailed wall map.)


Students will become familiar with important geographic features in a portion of the state, using reading skills involving both literature and maps.


Read Ch 1, pp. 17-22 - This describes an incredible journey

Evaluation/ Rubric

Teacher Notes

Be prepared to share more of this book with your students. It contains very captivating stories about real events in the lives of real Alaskan people.

(The book Shadows... should be high on the list of great books about Alaska's past, highly recommended reading for every rural Alaskan teacher).



Mark Thompson, St. Michael


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