Lesson Plan: Ethnobotany

This lesson plan intended to be used in combination with my iBook lesson “Ethnobotany.” LessonPlanEthnobotany (1)

This lesson meets various cultural standards, but the ones I focused on are as follows: 

Curriculum Standard B: A culturally-responsive curriculum recognizes cultural knowledge as part of a living and constantly adapting system that is grounded in the past, but continues to grow through the present and into the future.

  1. Recognizes the contemporary validity of much of the traditional cultural knowledge, values and beliefs, and grounds students learning in the principles and practices associated with that knowledge. 

Student Cultural Standard C: Culturally-knowledgeable students are able to actively participate in various cultural environments.

  1. Perform subsistence activities in ways that are appropriate to local cultural traditions.

2. Attain a healthy lifestyle through which they are able to maintain their own social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual well-being.

I wanted to create a lesson that emphasized that Alaska Native (specifically Athabascan) knowledge of plants. Within the lesson, I tried to emphasize the “contemporary validity” of plants in Alaska. Plants were used for medicinal and subsistence purposes and they are STILL used this way today by many Alaska Native people and others who have learned techniques from them throughout the years. I wanted students, regardless of their own cultural background, to be reminded that the plants of Alaska are also a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. I also wanted students to be introduced to the wealth of resources available written by Alaska Native people and various tribal organizations, sharing recipes, translations, and uses for plants.

3 thoughts on “Lesson Plan: Ethnobotany”

  1. Plants and their uses are a great way for people to get in touch with the environment that they are living in and to learn to respect the knowledge of the people that are indigenous to that area. I think that this is a great lesson plan and that you will find success with it.

  2. This is great – when Jason at the Culture Camp told us about his science experiment to test the validity of Tlin’git stories concerning the healing properties of Porcupine quills I was beyond intrigued! I hope this lesson goes well.

    1. It wasn’t the quills, it was part of an inner organ that I can not remember right now. It may be the stomach or the liver? I will check in with my son to see if he remembers.

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