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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: communication arts, drama, English, creative writing, broadcasting

Timeline: semester

Grade Levels: any

Purpose: to demystify film and television; to introduce new skills


T. Gillespie, J. Bacon, and T. Cochran
Film and Video



Square bullet Activities

  • Acquire commercial tapes from a local TV station and examine the:
  • style, duration, and variety of shots.

  • Have students develop a theme for scripting:

    use anything from newspaper clippings to a Sunday sermon for ideas

    one eighth grade class made a Western complete with cap guns and ketchup.

  • Practice "hands on" with video or film equipment:

    use simple equipment. Practice shots with zoom lens

    let students see themselves on screen. Role play on screen

  • Begin scripting:

    have students work as a group

    use a tape recorder; let characters' dialogue develop spontaneously without consideration for logic or grammar

    have students transcribe tape

    work out the logic and grammar of the script

    discuss believability

    introduce dramatic techniques for character, plot, and scene development.

  • Examine more commercial tapes, preferably soap operas, for dramatic conflict.
  • Rewrite script, using tape recorder and videocamera.
  • Examine commercial tapes for lighting and sound.
  • Finish script.
  • Shoot the script in the village. Discuss results.

Square bullet Resources

  • a local TV station
  • Alaska State Library for videotapes; audiocassettte recordings for background sound and songs; books on film and video 
  • Ptarmigan TV (see page 54) 
  • The VTR in the Classroom
  • the film Real-to-Reel
  • Media and Methods magazine


  • Make a "how to" film on trapping, skin sewing, or sled building.
  • Make a documentary of another school project, a basketball game, carnival, or village life.
  • Let each student work on one segment and splice together.
  • Divide tasks of directing, editing, writing, acting, etc.
  • Plan a public showing.


Artist in Residence Program

Community Mural Project

Elder Posters and Interviews

Literature from Life History and Village Lore

Bilingual Exercise

Illustrated History of Eskimo Games

Freeze-Up Essays

Literacy Bank

Elementary Reader

Grant and Proposal Writing

Student A/V Presentation

"Focus on Your Village," a short videotaped news program

Developmental Photography

Film and Video Scripting


Producing a Play

Ceramics-Chess Class

Block Print Sales

Weavers Guild



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 17, 2006