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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: biology, natural science

Timeline: six weeks/two hours per day in early fall or spring

Grade Levels: 9-12

Purpose: to familiarize students with regional vegetation, animals


D. Madfara and E. Meade
Natural History



Square bullet Activities

  • During field trips take field notes on vegetation and animal habits and habitats:
  • take back samples for lab experiments, or send samples out for analysis.

  • Make a natural history collection for study purposes:

    make drawings or cast impressions of tracks

    collect skulls and other bones, fur, etc.

    mount skeletons

    practice taxidermy

    catalog the collection.

Square bullet Resources

  • lab materials: pH test kits, thermometers, magnifying glass, field glasses 
  • Investigating Your Environment-Teaching Activities for Elementary Education
  • Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories
  • A Field Guide to Animal Tracks
  • A Field Guide to the Mammals
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture


  • Ask elders about identity and location of wildlife and vegetation. Take elders on field trips.
  • Catalog with English and indigenous names.
  • Collect vegetables for food and medicinal use.
  • Concentrate on geological, marine, or botanical specimens.
  • Use owl pellets to identify food species of owl. Trace food webs.
  • Investigate energy sources.
  • Study conservation of resources.


Village Map and Directory

Land Selection

Local Weather Station

Star Mapping

6" Newtonian Reflecting Telescope Construction

Planetarium Construction

Investigation of Snow Melting

Insulation Experiments: Cardboard Boxes/Snow-Fenced Houses

Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

Practical Application of Alternative Energy System

Solar Energy Uses

Construction of School/Community Facilities

Bush Shop or How to Learn Carpentry Without Wood

Basic Home Maintenance

Snowmachine Maintenance

Glider Construction (Aviation Shop)

Subsistence Tool Construction

Operating a Trapline, Subsistence Trapline, or Subsistence Net

Survival Skills

Heritage Campout

Netting Fish Efficiently

Natural History

Study of a Food Resource

Effects of Diet on Mice or Rats

Medicinal Plants

Farming the Sea

Summer Marine Science Program

Vegetable Gardening

Greenhouse Construction and Gardening

Chicken Farming

Water Usage Study

Garbage Disposal

Village Dogs

Fire Safety



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