Alaska Studies Units
From OpenContent Curriculum
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Bering Strait School District teachers may, however, Xerox portions of the text, as necessary, for classroom use.
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How To Use This Curriculum Guideiv
Unit 1 Geography
Recognizing Place: Alaska's Six Regions 1
(District Objective C)
Why This Place? How Geography Affects Life 15
(District Objective D)
Unit 2 Resources
Resource Availability: Using Material from Land and Sea29
(District Objectives C and F)
Conflict: How Resources Are Used 55
(District Objective G)
Unit 3 Native Culture Groups
Alaska's Native Cultures: Differences and Similarities 77
(District Objective A)
Change Over Time: Understanding Community History 111
(District Objective B)
Unit 4 History
Times of Contact: Influences from Without 127
(District Objective B)
Times of Contact: Boom and Bust 143
(District Objective C)
Unit 7 Contemporary Issues
Alaska Natives and the Federal Government: 183
A Special Relationship (District Objective A)
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 30 Years Later:205
Civil Rights Are Not Freely Given, They Must Be Taken
(District Objective B)
Tribal Sovereignty: A Journey with Unity of Purpose 253
(District Objective C)
Cultural Values Preference Form283
This curriculum guide contains units for the Bering Strait School District high school Alaska Studies course. Only units identified by teachers as requiring additional teaching aids are included in this manual. In addition to utilizing textbooks and material contained in Alaska Studies kits the district previously assembled for this course, the authors have identified many current books, publications, and materials that should be incorporated into the teaching of these lessons. The teacher will notice that the units have been specifically designed to take advantage of Internet technology in the classroom.
The Table of Contents contains the list of units that have been redesigned and updated. It lists the unit first, then the specific objective as outlined in the Bering Strait School District high school Alaska Studies course outline. For a complete listing of all units and objectives in the high school Alaska Studies series, please review the course outline.
Each unit contains seven categories.
- Number of weeks needed to teach the unit
- Specifies the Bering Strait School District Alaska Studies unit and performance objective that will be met
- A brief goal statement
Standards Guiding this Unit:
- Content Standards that will be addressed in the unit
- Cultural Standards that will be addressed in the unit
- Performance Standards that will be addressed in the unit
- Specifies prior knowledge that a student should have obtained before taking this class
- Alerts the teacher to topics that should be reviewed prior to teaching the unit
- Background narrative for teachers who may be unfamiliar with local and state history, politics, and cultural issues
- Information for class preparation, especially where community involvement is required
- Forewarning of other class preparation that should occur prior to the beginning of the unit
- A synopsis of the unit as it should unfold from the first to the last day
- A brief description of the objective or activity that will be accomplished each day
- A list of all the materials both for the teacher and for the student
- Material usually listed in the following order: Supplies, Books, Periodicals and Web Sites
- Day-by-day numbering system
- First number: Bering Strait School District Alaska Studies unit number
- Letter: Bering Strait School District Alaska Studies unit objective
- Second number: day's lesson number
- A one or two page outline for each day of the unit
- Formatted in the following order: Objectives, Materials, Activities, Homework, and Extension
Upon completion of this unit, students will better understand the concept of region as it applies to the six geographic regions of the state of Alaska. It builds a foundation for further work in the Geography and Resource Performance Objectives outlined for the high school Alaska Studies class. This weeklong unit is designed to meet the district performance objective Geography C: Describe the types of climates and their effects in various areas of Alaska.
Standards Guiding this Unit:
Content Standards - Geography
B. A student should be able to utilize, analyze, and explain information about
the human and physical features of places and regions.
2) analyze how places are formed, identified, named, and characterized
C. A student should understand the dynamic and interactive natural forces that
shape the earth‚Äôs environments.
- recognize the concepts used in studying environments and recognize the diversity and productivity of different regional environments
E. Culturally-knowledgeable students demonstrate an awareness and
appreciation of the relationships and processes of interaction of all elements
in the world around them.
- understand the ecology and geography of the bioregion they inhabit
Reading (Ages 15-18)
- summarize information or ideas from a text and make connections
between summarized information or sets of ideas and related topics or information
Writing (Ages 11-14)
1) write a coherent composition that includes a thesis statement, supporting
evidence, and conclusion
4) a. revises writing to improve organization, word choice, and paragraph development, and voice appropriate to the purpose
b. form and explain own standards or judgments of quality writing
5) list and document sources using a given format
6) compose and edit a composition with a word processing program
Writing (Ages 15-18)
1) write a coherent composition with a thesis statement that is supported with evidence, well-developed paragraphs, transitions, and a conclusion
Math Measurement (Ages 15-18)
1) evaluate measurements for accuracy, precision, and error with respect to
the measuring tools, methods, and the computational process
Before beginning this unit, District Performance Objectives for Geography A and B will have been met and Alaska Content Standards for Geography A1, A2, A3, B1, C1, and C2 will have been introduced.
Note: These are suggestions. Some students in your class may be more advanced and will need more work to do or they may need more time. Please do what you need to do to make the lessons appropriate for your class size and ability. This may mean that only one region is studied if your class is very small or that two groups work on the same region if your class is large.
Day 1 -Defining Region
Students will identify how they define region, then match their
responses to a prepared depiction of the many ways areas can be separated into regions. Students will then practice determining the boundaries of regions in the state of Alaska.
Day 2 -Defining Climate
Students will identify how they define climate, then match their responses to a prepared depiction of the many ways areas can be separated into regions. For the purpose of this unit we will use the six regions of Alaska as shown on Map 15 in Alaska in Maps: A Thematic Atlas, page 33. In groups, students will research climate in one of each of the six regions.
Day 3 -Map Construction
Each group of students will construct a map to scale of their assigned region. (Make sure all groups use the same ratio.) Students will record on their maps the information they researched on regional climate and will present oral reports describing their maps.
Day 4 -Trivia
Students will compare and contrast the regions described in their
oral reports. Students will then play a trivia game using questions they wrote themselves.
Day 5 - Regional Brochure
In groups, students will start to create a sample brochure for their
assigned region that would be appropriate for a convention and visitors' bureau or chamber of commerce.
Photocopies of the outline of the state of Alaska (There is a master on page 111 of the Alaska: A Land In Motion teacher's guide.)
Photocopies of Map 15, page 33, Alaska in Maps: A Thematic Atlas
Large poster boards
Overhead projector (if you will allow the students to use it to enlarge their maps)
Books for Teachers
Monmonier, Mark. How to Lie with Maps. Chicago: University of Chicago
Partnow, Patricia. Teacher‚Äôs Guide to Alaska: A Land In Motion. Fairbanks,
AK: University of Alaska, 1995.
Partnow, Patricia H. Teacher's Guide for Alaska in Maps: A Thematic Atlas.
Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska, 1998.
Wood, Denis. The Power of Maps. London: The Guilford Press, 1992.
The USGS publishes a variety of informative teaching packets, fact sheets, posters, booklets, leaflets, and brochures about cartography, geography, and related sciences. These publications can be obtained from any Earth Science Information Center (ESIC). For more information, call 1-888-ASK-USGS (275-8747).
Books for Students
Ferrell, Nancy Warren. Alaska: A Land In Motion. Fairbanks, AK: University
of Alaska, 1994.
Graydon, Don, ed. The Alaska Almanac 25th Anniversary Edition. Portland, OR: Alaska Northwest Books, 2001.
Pearson, Roger W. and Marjorie Hermans. Alaska in Maps: A Thematic Atlas.
Fairbanks, Alaska, AK: University of Alaska, 1998.
"Alaska's Weather." Alaska Geographic Volume 18, No. 1, (1991)
"A Photographic Geography of Alaska." Alaska Geographic Volume 7, No. 2, (1980)
The state of Alaska has this site for tourists. It has some good information.
Click on "mapping" and look around. There are some fun ideas here, especially under "for parents, teachers, and students."
This is an excellent site with lesson plans (separated by age group) that would work well for additional activities.
This has all sorts of links for geography teachers.
This one is great! It has all kinds of ideas for additional geography activities.
Students can look here for chamber of commerce web sites of Alaskan communities. (Not all communities have chambers of commerce.)
Students can look here for visitors‚Äô information. They may also look for the convention and visitor bureaus of the larger communities in their assigned regions.
1. Defining RegionDay-by-day guide
This is the first project of the unit and the maps and papers produced in this unit will be used for the rest of the units in the geography curriculum. It is important to set the tone for the units to come. Remember to have fun. Regions can seem like a very staid topic, but it can be interesting if the students understand how it pertains to their lives.
Students will identify how they define region, then match their responses to a prepared depiction of the many ways areas can be separated into regions. Students will then practice determining the boundaries of regions in the state of Alaska.
Alaska: A Land In Motion
Outline map of the state of Alaska
Much of the first day will be discussion. Students may be surprised to discover how much they already know about this topic. They may have to research specific information, but the basic idea of region should not be new.
- Ask the students how they define region. (A good definition is on page 13 of Alaska: A Land In Motion.) How are areas separated into regions? What kinds of regions do they know? Have a student list the answers on the board or on a flip chart. Have another poster or flip chart prepared with the following items listed on it:
- Regional Native corporations
- Hunting regions
- Fishing regions
- School districts
- Climatic regions
- Election regions
- Physiographic regions
- Regional populations
- Regional ethnicity
- Regional governments
- Vegetation zones
- General physical areas, such as mountains
- Specific physical areas, such as the Rocky Mountains
- Cultural regions, such as Yup'ik or Inupiaq
- Areas with similar soil types
- Areas with similar religions
- Regional languages
- Newspaper-circulation areas
- Zip code and zoning areas
- Time zones