I primarily planned on doing my lesson on the Native culture prior to Russian contact in the 1700s. But that lesson appears to be too broad. Instead I am going to focus on the history of education in west coast Alaska.
Since the 1700s, education in west coast Alaska has evolved from learning how to hunt and survive in a sod house to preparing individuals to survive in the Western culture. I would start by dividing the class into four or five groups and do a trivia. We’d start off with a few questions unrelated to the topic to wake them up before moving onto the serious questions. Trivia would go on for about 10-15 minutes. Then if a movie were available, I’d have them watch a clip for about 15 minutes to give them a visual idea how boys and girls of west coast Alaska were educated prior to Russian contact.
After the movie is over, they would go back to their same groups to write down how today’s educational system is different compared to the structure that was used by the Native people before Russian contact. I’m guessing this section would take about 20 minutes. Similar to our class last week, we would hang the posters on the wall to allow the students to see how things have changed from multiple viewpoints.
If there were an elder available in town, I would invite him/her over to speak to the class about their knowledge of culture the next day or two. Then once the elder is done speaking, I’d give the class a chance to reflect what the elder has said.
To conclude things, I’d do a presentation on why it’s important to know the history.
Once I have presented the history, I’d shift gears to the problems west coast Alaska today. What are the dropout rates there compared to nation wide? Are there ways we can improve today’s school systems?