Western Maritime Region- Lesson Plan thoughts (Social Studies)

To be honest, I am really struggling with this particular assignment and which direction I want to proceed with it.  I have found lots of interesting material and have too many ideas at the moment.  The things I find of particular interest and would like to focus on will be something to do with one or all of the following:

My audience will be 9-12 grade students from all over Alaska.  It will be either a US History or AK History course.

1)WWII and the forced transfer of the people’s of the Aleutian Islands to SE Alaska.  The impact of this forced transfer on the communities and peoples of the area.  I would like students to not only learn the history of this transfer and the conditions that people lived in while in SE at various internment camps, but also how upon returning to their homes, things changed.  Using this to more broadly to look the essential question of ‘why do people move?’ as well as the impacts of current day movement/globalization on people.

2) Adak. Adak fascinates me as it is just a funky place that I think students (or anyone) would be interested in learning about.  It has a HUGE abandoned U.S. military base that was deserted after the Cold War era.  It is almost a ghost town, but with a small population and a large caribou population that was introduced to the island during the U.S. military years.  Looking at different aspects of history, through a case study of Adak, could be interesting.  Looking at the essential questions of ‘why is that there?’ and ‘what is worth fighting for?’ would be easily obtained studying Adak.

3) Maps.  On most maps, the Aleutians, especially, are put into a few boxes in the corner.  I would love to talk about maps– and who makes them.  Giving examples of different maps throughout history– where Alaska is placed on these maps, how things are labeled, what was seen as important on the maps.

These are obviously very rough ideas.  I had a few solid lessons thought out, but I don’t really like them.  So I am back to the brainstorming phase.  I look forward to more clarity and a little more focus.

4 thoughts on “Western Maritime Region- Lesson Plan thoughts (Social Studies)”

  1. 1. Your EQ could focus on the civil liberties issues raised by forced relocation. You might also compare the Aleutians to incarceration of JAs on west coast.
    2. Interesting topic – not sure if there’s enough material out there?
    3. Better understanding map representations could have lots of potential. see:
    http://nationalgeographic.org/standards/national-geography-standards/
    Students could look at how different map projects accent or diminish Alaska. Might be assigned to design Alaska-centric maps

  2. Going off of the theme of ‘movement’ (the Aleutians are known as the islands of the winds after all, and because of its location, movement is a huge factor in its development), I think your lesson plan has great essential questions to be asked. When I in college, I learned about globalization in respect to migration and movements, and how an individual can move without necessarily moving physically, if that makes sense. Looking at the concept of movement and asking who gets to move? why do people move? and how does globalization affect movement for all cultures? is an interesting study.

  3. Erin, I think you should go off of the relocation and migration themes, I agree with Chris it is a great theme that can tie into a global discussion on movement. Plus I think we can find a way to incorporate your interest in Adak in the introduction, so you can have it all!

  4. I am so happy you are doing this lesson. It’s an incredibly important issue. the fact that you’re having a lot of ideas and may be a little overwhelmed is all but inevitable.

    Your essential question “of ‘why do people move?’ as well as the impacts of current day movement/globalization on people” IS definitely broad. I wonder if this is what’s inhibiting you. Is is possible to stack this question on a higher shelf, and shift your focus a few tiers down?
    Very much looking forward to learning from this lesson. Go at this with GUSTO!

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