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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
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Lessons & Units

A database of lessons and units searchable by content and cultural standards, cultural region and grade level. More units will be available soon. You can use Acrobat Reader to look at the PDF version of the Cover Sheet for the Units and Self-Assessment for Cultural Standards in Practice.


by Jonas Ramoth and Sidney Stephens

Appendix B - Assessment


Assessment Table - Winds and Weather

Skills and Knowledge

Primary Learning Activities


Develop respect for elders and others who have learned to read the weather



« Traditional Forecaster

« Community Memories

« Elder input, observation and informal interview

« Student response to weather scenarios

« Pictures, posters, poems, stories created/shared

« Weather Journal


Recognize that weather cannot be controlled and must be respected


Use local weather knowledge and skills to make decisions about how to prepare for weather conditions.


Develop the habit of frequently observing the weather and becoming familiar with specific signs, changes and patterns of local significance.


« Traditional Forecaster

« Weather Journals

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies


« Elder input

« Weather Journal.

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies Scoring Guide

« Apply sections of primary learning activities


Describe how the local society, culture, history and environment have affected the development of scientific knowledge


« Traditional Forecaster

« Community Memories

« Connecting section of Designing Local Studies Scoring Guide

« Pictures, posters, essays, stories

etc. (see Traditional Forecaster


« Unit Reflection (see Appendix )



Skills and Knowledge

Primary Learning Activities


Design and conduct an investigation of local weather using appropriate tools and techniques.



« Agreeing on Terms

« Designing Local Studies

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies


« Designing Local Studies Scoring Guide

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies Scoring Guide


Make qualitative and quantitative observations, interpret data and use this information to explain everyday phenomena and make predictions.


« Weather Journals

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies

« GLOBE Protocols and Learning Activities

« Weather Log/Journal entries

« Process Skills Checklist

« Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies Scoring Guide

« Performance Event - Daily Changes

« Assessment suggestions on GLOBE pages 2-40 and 7-27


Understand that differential heating of air masses produces both local breezes and global winds.

« Activity Series 1- Convection

« Activity Series 2 - Heat Absorption and Radiation

« Activity Series 3 - Topography

« Embedded Assessments

« Learning Cycle Model Scoring Guide

« Process skills checklists

« Apply sections each activity series

«PALS Performance Tasks (

« School Temperatures

« Heat Retention

« Sun and Temperature




Understand that global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather.

« Activity Series 4 - Heating the Earth

« Activity Series 5 - Global Winds


Process Skills Observational Checklist

(Used on multiple activities)


Student Name ___________________________________________________________








Data Collection

















Designing Local Studies
Teacher Scoring Guide*






Links local cultural knowledge, experiences, and observations to creation of a weather investigation.

« You did not make clear connections between cultural knowledge and your investigation

« You did not analyze the adequacy of your present cultural knowledge

« You identified, explained or illustrated related knowledge, experiences and observations and used them as a basis for your study.

« You analyzed the adequacy of your present cultural knowledge

« You clearly explained and made explicit connections to cultural knowledge, experiences and observations and used them as a basis for your study.

« You analyzed the adequacy of your present knowledge and made a plan for gaining necessary information.


Develops a plan to guide the investigation

« The plan you wrote was confusing or didn't address the topic identified.

« Your plan inconsistently reflected the importance of clear language, careful observation and measurement.

« You made inappropriate or no decisions concerning quantitative and qualitative methods, use of estimation or units.

« You did not create a clear data-recording tool.

« You did not make or respond to suggestions for improvement in your design.

« The plan you designed made sense and could be followed by others without further explanation.

« Your plan showed the importance of clear language, careful observation and measurement.

« Your decisions about qualitative and quantitative methods, estimation and use of units were mostly appropriate.

« You created a clear data-recording tool.

« You reconsidered your design by describing problems and making improvements

« You wrote a very comprehensive plan that directly outlined all aspects of your investigation.

« Your plan showed the importance of clear language and integrated the most appropriate techniques for observation and measurement.

« You made appropriate decisions about qualitative and quantitative methods and use of units.

« You created a clear and detailed data-recording tool.

« You repeatedly reconsidered your investigation design by describing problems and making improvements.


Conducting and Analyzing Local Studies
Teacher Scoring Guide**






Carries out procedures of a plan to collect and organize data

« You recorded some observations and/or measurements as you carried out weather studies.

« You clearly recorded all necessary observations and/or measurements.

« You clearly and completely recorded all necessary observations and measurements and added detailed observations when appropriate.



Assembles and explains ideas through reflection, analysis and interpretation for application and / or further meaning.

« You missed important patterns or relationships in the data.

« You had trouble connecting what you knew when you started with what you learned in this study.

« You did not use your observations or data to give reasons for your thinking.

« You did not ask questions about ideas or applications related to this study.

« You recognized important patterns and relationships in your data.

« You explained how what you learned from this investigation fit in with what you already knew.

« You referred to your observations and data to support your conclusions.

« You wondered about ideas related to this study and asked interesting questions.

« You explored important patterns and relationships in your data.

« You discussed similarities and differences between what you knew when you started and what you found out.

« You explored reasons for your conclusions by using your observations and data as evidence.

« You posed questions for further investigations.


Provides oral, graphic, and or written support of the investigation

« Your presentation was somewhat clear and organized but needed more detail

« You chose narrative, graphs, charts, tables and or pictures that required the reader to infer in order to understand your ideas and thoughts.

« You presented a clear, organized and detailed description of your work.

« You chose narrative, graphs, charts, tables, and/or pictures that clearly communicated my ideas.

« Your presentation was focussed and purposeful.

« You chose narrative, graphs, charts, tables and / or pictures that enhanced and strengthened the communication of your ideas.



(Student version)


1. Each student group of 4 will need copies of afternoon weather log entries for 1 week (as provided by teacher).

2. As a group you are to construct a data table or other visual display comparing the weather as reported in the weather log. Be sure to include as many aspects of the weather study as possible in as much detail as necessary. Create display in space below. EACH STUDENT WILL NEED THEIR OWN COPY OF WHATEVER TABLE OR DISPLAY THEY CREATE.








3. As a group, discuss the daily weather, recording key points of discussion individually below:




INDIVIDUAL WORK_________________________________________________

4. Use your group table or display to help you describe what change, if any, you observed in the temperature, wind or atmosphere between Monday and Friday. Be sure to support your conclusions with data.




5, Use your table or display to help your describe what effect, if any, weather seemed to have on village activities.


6. Compare the weather log observations with the observations of the Traditional Forecaster? Were they the same or different? Use examples to support your conclusions. If they were different, how might you explain those differences?


Performance Event - Daily Changes

(Teacher scoring guide)

Performance Expectations:

« Organizing and representing data

« Formulating conclusions from data

« Recognizing that weather changes daily even though weather changes may be slight

Sample Data Table

(Pictures, graphs or other representations are acceptable as long as data is clearly and accurately recorded)





Trad. Fore.

Village Act.


Very cold



Still cold

People indoors or chopping wood. Dogs in houses





No change yet




Light Breeze



Wind, sundog, maybe a change



No Comment

Surface Wind/


Low clouds

Will get warmer

Trappers preparing to check lines


No Comment



Will hold for awhile

Trappers out

Scoring Guide

Stage 4 Student clearly represents data in table (graphic) and accurately interprets data to describe changes in temperature, wind and atmospheric conditions. Accurately describes the effect of weather on village communities and uses data to support description. Specifically compares weather data with TF data and notes that the Traditional Forecaster tended to focus on possible weather changes without describing observations in detail.

Stage 3 Student table (graphic) is well done and data interpretation generally accurate but may contain minor flaws or omissions. Accurately describes trend in village activities but may not sufficiently support conclusions with data. Notes accuracy of TF but non-specific about comparisons of class log.

Stage 2 Student attempts to represent data and interpret it but may represent only part of the data or consider only partial data or not support conclusions with data. Comparison of weather to village activity may be somewhat vague, as may TF comparison. Overall response may contain major flaws.

Stage 1 Student makes unsuccessful attempt at a table or graphic. Makes statements about weather without data. Overall response is vague, poorly defined and contains major flaws.


  • Initiates activities with no forethought or avoids activity completely
  • ignores needs and contributions of peers
  • interacts with phenomena as instructed
  • works politely with peers, but sticks to personal agenda
  • asks clarifying questions
  • uses a variety of methods to interact with the subject
  • works cooperatively with peers and gains insights from their activities
  • no organized attention or skills applied to task at hand
  • measurements, observations, and classifications are recorded, but with little attention to detail
  • makes careful observations, measurements, and classifications
  • records measurements, observations, and inferences
  • shows minimal intellectual interaction with materials being manipulated
  • fluid interactions with phenomena, but they sometimes are off target with intended activities
  • identifies and seeks to expand personal understanding of the concept or phenomena
  • shows little participation in discussions
  • demonstrates non-supportive behavior for others' input
  • engaged in discussion as a participant
  • does not initiate many questions
  • asks thoughtful questions
  • shows respect for other ideas
  • does not distinguish between observations and inferences
  • looks upon guesses as fact
  • has basic understanding of the differences between observation and inference.
  • understands that a hypothesis is a kind of scientific guess
  • distinguishes between observations and inferences
  • identifies relevant observations and interpretations
  • looks upon guesses as hypotheses to be tested
  • jumps to conclusions that are not based upon recent manipulations of the phenomena
  • considers data before making conclusions
  • avoids jumping to conclusions
  • identifies alternative explanations for phenomena
  • does not recognize applicability of knowledge gained from both successes and failures of experimental process
  • creative application ideas, but they do not address personal or societal needs
  • offers to apply new knowl-edge to positive benefit of society
  • does not refer to principles and concepts discovered in earlier generalizations
  • applications loosely associated with principles of concept
  • refers to principles which were discovered in the generalize stage in spite of new context
  • does not offer applications of new knowledge regardless of context
  • applications offered, but does not transcend original context
  • transfers application of concept to new context



Unit Reflection

In this weather unit you have learned about weather from at least two different points of view (1) traditional weather knowledge; and (2) Western science knowledge. Each of these views represents a different knowledge system, each with its own way of looking at the world.

By writing, drawing, creating lists or some other means explain:

1. How Iñupiaq people view the weather.

2. How Western scientists view the weather.

3. The similarities between these two systems.

4. The differences between these two systems.

5. When and why each perspective can be useful.


*Adapted from Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (1999), Science Inquiry Scoring Guide

** Adapted from Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (1999), Science Inquiry Scoring Guide



Section I - Observing Locally

Section II - Understanding Wind

Section III - Connecting Globally

Appendix A - Selawik Weather Information from Jonas Ramoth

Appendix B - Assessment

Appendix C - Weather Resource List

Appendix D - Interdisciplinary Integration



Whouy Sze Kuinalth
"Teaching Our Many Grandchildren"
Tauhna Cauyalitahtug
(To Make a Drum)
Math Story Problems
St. Lawrence Island Rain Parka Winds and Weather Willow
Driftwood Snowshoes Moose
Plants of the Tundra Animal Classification for Yup'ik Region Rabbit Snaring
The Right Tool for the Job
Fishing Tools and Technology
Blackfish Family Tree
Medicinal Plants of the Kodiak Alutiiq Archipelago Beaver in Interior Alaska Digging and Preparing Spruce Roots
Moose in Interior Alaska Birds Around the Village  


Handbook for Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum by Sidney Stephens
Excerpt: "The information and insights contained in this document will be of interest to anyone involved in bringing local knowledge to bear in school curriculum. Drawing upon the efforts of many people over a period of several years, Sidney Stephens has managed to distill and synthesize the critical ingredients for making the teaching of science relevant and meaningful in culturally adaptable ways."



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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
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Last modified August 18, 2006