Lesson Plan

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?

5 thoughts on “Lesson Plan”

  1. Hey Jimmy, glad to see you’ve narrowed down your lesson idea. It’s looking good to me. Still broad, but that’s not a bad thing. With an elder visit, a video, a presentation, and group work in the mix, I would suggest making this a multi-day lesson (it’s a rich, important topic, so it’d be nice to give it a good amount of time). The questions at the end are great, and should lead to some lively discussions.

  2. I like the trivia idea to get things rolling and the multimedia to grab their attention. The plan looks like it is coming together already. I wander what else you can add to the mix over the next week or so.

  3. I think the trivia idea is a great way to get them interested and excited about the topic. The lesson plan looks good and I like that you are starting to narrow it in, it is an important topic and one that should be shared. I was wondering if you are going to show the 15 minutes in clips from the movie/movies? or just one straight 15 minute clip. I was curious if by showing them a few clips, it may give different perspectives on the same subject. Overall though I like where you are headed, keep it up.

  4. I have to say, I love your diagnosis of the different purposes of education classically and in modern times. You’re absolutely right that the purpose of modern education is wildly different and that it revolves around “preparing individuals to survive in Western culture.” I’m looking forward to discussing this with you later.

  5. I like the idea of comparing traditional ways of teaching with western. Many ways to look for similarities and differences – For example, you could use videos of elders sharing their knowledge and ask students to try turn that “lesson” into a western style lesson. Conversely you could ask them to take a western lesson and teach it indigenous style.

    Lots of great videos on YouTube. I know the Iñupiaq are at your northern edge – but great video here http://www.farthestnorthfilms.com

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