This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner Home Page About ANKN Publications Academic Programs Curriculum Resources Calendar of Events Announcements Site Index This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: [missing text], language arts, communications, Alaska history, Native studies

Timeline: four weeks or more

Grade Levels: 7-12

Purpose: to encourage cultural preservation; to teach interviewing and research techniques; to involve students in writing projects that will be a source of pride for the community


J. Bacon, J. Boyle, Nancy Stringham Buck, T. Cochran, K. Fredericks, E. Gillett, B. Harrison, J. and V. Lewis, and T. Wagner
Literature from Life History and Village Lore



Square bullet Activities

Have students:

  • Select community elder to be interviewed:

    working individually or in small groups, write down everything already known about the person

    compose questions (e.g., where and how the person has lived, genealogy, what he or she thinks about changes that have taken place; social, hunting, domestic practices, etc.)

  • Conduct the interview:

    practice first on each other

    tape record and photograph or sketch the event

    if possible, accompany the person to old village or camp sites.

  • Transcribe the tape(s).
  • Write a biography from the material:

    give a draft to other students for review, comments, and questions

    get comments from the teacher

    if necessary, return to the interviewee for more information

    rewrite the biography

    repeat the review process

  • Prepare final version for publication:

    select accompanying photos and sketches

    typeset, lay out, and print in journalism class, or send to a printer to typeset and lay out

    design a cover.

  • Make good use of the product:

    use in Native Studies class or for an elementary reader

    publish as a booklet or send to a magazine

    publish regularly as a periodical in magazine or newsprint format

    use in a larger publication that includes legends, stories, other biographies, interviews, and historical essays about the community

    use in a larger publication that includes profiles of younger people and stories about contemporary experiences.

Square bullet Resources

  • old photographs and historical documents
  • tape recorders, cameras, printing facilities, state and national magazines 
  • You and Aunt Arie, by Pamela Wood 
  • Foxfire books 
  • Chamai: A Curriculum Guide to Community and Culturally Based Communications Skill Development, Department of Education


  • Produce bilingually.
  • Market the product.
  • Use another medium: video- or audiotape or a programmed slide show.
  • Decide on a type of publication first, and compose for a particular audience.


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