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Native Pathways to Education
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Southeast RavenLiving in a Fish Camp

ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM GUIDE
Grades K - 5

JUNEAU INDIAN STUDIES PROGRAM
City and Borough of Juneau School District

JUNEAU INDIAN STUDIES PROGRAM
10014 Crazy Horse Dr.
Juneau, Alaska 99801

Department of Education
Title IV-A Indian Education Act
Grant #N008500191

*NO portion to be reproduced without the written consent of the Juneau Indian Studies Program.

KINDERGARTEN

At the Kindergarten level, two sequential units are designed to develop a greater understanding by students of the southeastern environment.

Since the need for nourishment for survival is universal, our first unit, Our Southeastern Environment, teaches students about the resources available that have been, and are still being, relied upon by the Tlingit people. Once a general understanding of food sources is taught, the learner is focused on the primary "staff of life" of the Tlingit people, the salmon. Students are exposed to the biological traits of the salmon, it’s life cycle, and most importantly, it’s role in the life and beliefs of our people.

In the following unit, Living In a Fish Camp, your students will more closely experience the subsistence lifestyle. Through a fish camp learning center, students develop an understanding of the relationship of Tlingit people to each other and interaction with nature. During the time of the salmon migration the harvesting of fish is a combination of hard work, learning and celebration. It’s a time when families come together, when elders share knowledge and history, and when families develop and strengthen bonds, while preparing food for the winter months.

These units will provide a base of knowledge in preparing students for the First Grade experience.

Social Studies Emphasis: One’s Self and One’s Surroundings.

 

Living in a Fish Camp

TEACHER INFORMATION SUMMARY

KINDERGARTEN

Unit I: Our Southeast Environment

Purpose:
Exploration of our environment in southeast Alaska provides a common base for beginning a cultural study for young children. We observe and identify fabric creatures and discuss their habitat. We narrow our focus to salmon, their life cycle, their value as food, and our need to respect their entity as a nation.

We make a pretend river with painted paper salmon in the classroom, establishing an environment for a fish camp learning center.

 

Day 1 Southeast Animals: "Making a Southeast Animal Habitat Mural"

Knowledge:
  • Names of animals and their habitat in southeast Alaska environment

Skills:

  • Drawing a southeast Alaska animal
  • Cutting
  • Coloring

Day 2 Cloth Salmon: ‘‘Making an Inside-Outside Salmon’’

Knowledge:
  • Names of external and internal parts of the salmon

Skills:

  • Matching salmon parts with picture
  • Cutting
  • Coloring
  • Teaching family members

Day 3 Real Salmon: "Cutting a Real Salmon"

Values:
  • Respect for salmon
  • Spirituality

Knowledge:

  • The Tlingit way of respecting salmon

Skills:

  • Observation
  • Recall

Day 4 Salmon Spawning: "Making Eggs and Embryos for a Female Salmon"

Values:
  • Balance of nature

Knowledge:

  • Salmon cycle

Skills:

  • Estimating
  • Counting

Day 5 River and Salmon: "Making a Salmon River in the Classroom"

Knowledge:
  • Changes in salmon color during cycle

Skills:

  • Cutting
  • Painting
  • Matching colors with posters
 

TEACHER INFORMATION SUMMARY
KINDERGARTEN

 

Unit II: Living in a Fish Camp

Purpose: Through role-play in a fish camp learning center, people’s basic needs are explored - the need for shelter, food, clothing and coming together to celebrate are experienced by the students. Listening to an ancient Tlingit legend in a darkened classroom, around a pretend campfire, adds its own magic to a beginning cultural study.

Day 6 Living in a Fish Camp: "Making a Fish Camp in the Classroom"

Values:
  • Appreciation of subsistence

Knowledge:

  • People go to the river to catch salmon
  • People construct shelters

Skills:

  • Taking turns
  • Identifying triangle shapes
  • Describing a camping experience
  • Predicting needs at fish camp

Day 7 Tlingit Food: "Sampling Tlingit Foods"

Values:
  • Appreciation of subsistence
  • knowledge of natural resources

Knowledge:

  • Tlingit people gather food to supplement salmon from the river
  • Tlingit Foods taste good

Skills:

  • Sampling new foods
  • Role-play
  • Identifying Tlingit foods
  • Polite ways to demonstrate taste likes and dislikes

Day 8 Tlingit Clothing: "Making Clothing for a Fish Camp Child"

Values:
  • Appreciation of subsistence

Knowledge:

  • How animal hides become clothing

Skills:

  • Identify three kinds of animal skins
  • Role-play

Day 9 Singing and Dancing: "Learning a Tlingit Raven Song"

Values:
  • Respect for each other

Knowledge:

  • Tlingit people celebrate by singing and dancing

Skills:

  • Imitating a raven
  • Dancing to a drum beat
  • Role-play

Day 10 Salmon Legend: "Hearing a Tlingit Legend about Salmon"

Values:
  • Respect for salmon
  • Spirituality

Knowledge:

  • Camping by a river
  • Hearing a Tlingit legend about salmon
  • Retelling a Tlingit legend

Skills:

  • Listening to a legend
  • Dramatizing a legend
  • Retelling a story

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Our Southeast Environment
Lesson: Day 1 - Southeast Animals

Materials:

  • "Stuffed" animals (eagle, raven, duck or goose, bear, deer, rabbit, seal, salmon, halibut, clam, killerwhale, gumboot, toad, etc.)*
  • Habitat posters*
  • Drawing paper
  • Masking tape
  • Classroom crayons and scissors

Preparation:

  • Have "stuffed" creatures hidden in a container to be brought out individually
  • Mount habitat posters

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of animals in their environment by being able to name three birds, three animals, and three sea creatures that live in southeast Alaska.
  • Students will be able to draw one of these animals and tape it in its proper habitat

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

  • In the upcoming days, we will explore the Tlingit Indians, their culture, and their surroundings.
  • Ask the children, "Do you like surprises? Close your eyes until I say open, then tell me what you see."

Activity (Input)

Uncover each creature in turn. Wait for the children to give the animal’s name. Ask for more information, such as:

  • Have you ever seen an animal like this?
  • Where does this animal makes its home?
  • What food does this animal eat?

Give the students more information to extend their knowledge. Let a student hold the animal after it has been discussed.

Activity (Guided Practice)

Show the students the habitat posters picturing ocean, beach, mountains, and forest. Ask the children to draw a picture of one of the animals, cut it out, and tape it on the habitat poster, providing a "home" for the animal. Children can put the "stuffed" animals they are holding near their workspace to observe while drawing. Provide suggestions of simple southeast Alaska animals to any children who may have difficulty choosing an animal to draw. Some may have time to make several animals.

Activity (Closure)

Let the children know you will be looking forward to seeing their posters tomorrow when you return. Ask children for names of animals they have drawn as they are taped on the posters.

Give the Tlingit name for each animal at this time.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Each student will be able to draw at least one southeast animal, name it, and place it in its proper habitat. Give the classroom teacher Tlingit name labels for each of the animals on the posters. The labels can be put on the posters.

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Our Southeast Environment
Lesson: Day 2 - Cloth Salmon

Materials:

  • Soft sculpture salmon*
  • Tape recorder
  • Salmon outside-inside handout
  • Salmon anatomy chart*
  • Cassette tape of rivers and seagull sounds*
  • Classroom scissors and crayons

Preparation:

  • Have the river-seagull tape ready for playing
  • Mount the salmon anatomy chart

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The student will be able to name fins, gills, gill cover, eye, and mouth as external parts of the salmon
  • The student will be able to name five internal organs of the salmon

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Begin playing the cassette tape. Ask the children what sounds they are hearing and where these sounds could be heard. Talk about the animals that may live in or near the river. Bring out the soft-sculpture salmon. Tell the students the name and species of the salmon.

Activity (Input)

Ask the children to help you say the names of the external parts of the salmon (mouth, eyes, gill covers, fins, tail). Then, open the salmon as it would be cut for cleaning and bring out all the internal parts. Tell the name and function of each internal part, gathering from the children the information they have to offer. These parts are:

  • Heart: Looks like a valentine, pulsates to pump blood through the fish’s body, red color.
  • Liver: Also red color, high in vitamin content, some people remove and fry to eat to replace a vitamin pill.
  • Eggs: They are really pink or orange in color, means this is a female salmon, there are man eggs in two sacs, these will become baby salmon if fertilized by male milt.
  • Milt: Looks like milk, but is called milt, means this is a male salmon, will make salmon eggs begin to grow baby salmon.
  • Gall Bladder: "The little green sac with the sour green juice" that we are careful not to cut when we are cleaning salmon. If we cut it by mistake, the sour green juice spills on our fish and makes it taste bad. We have to trim off that part and throw it away.
  • Air Sac: The air balloon that helps the salmon swim upright. If the salmon is sick or dying, some of the air comes out of the sac and the fish can no longer swim upright, but floats on its side.
  • Stomach: Show the pathway a small fish (food) would make from food tube, stomach, where it turns to mush, goes into the large intestine and then small intestine to small opening in front of ventral fin. This is a good time to also mention what happens to waste and the balance of the ocean environment.

Activity (Guided Practice)

Ask children to repeat the names of the external and internal parts as you point to them on the anatomy chart. Point out the colors of each part again. Ask the children if they would like to be teachers for their family. They could teach a parent about the gall bladder. "Here is a picture of a salmon and here are the salmons s inside parts. Can you color with your crayons the parts of the salmon to show your family? Cut out the inside parts and paste them on the salmon.

Activity (Closure)

Put the letters SALMON on the board for those students who like to make letters to copy on their picture. Move among the students to check for understanding, using the cloth salmon to review colors and names of internal parts.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Tell the children you will ask them tomorrow if they were able to teach something new about salmon to their families. Encourage each child to take the salmon picture home to share with the family.

salmon

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Our Southeast Environment
Lesson: Day 3 - Real Salmon

Materials:

  • A real salmon from the freezer
  • Cutting knife, board, plastic bag cover, towel
  • Soft sculpture salmon*
  • Salmon anatomy chart*

Preparation:

Take a real salmon from the freezer the night before this lesson to be sure it is thawed. Put a towel on a cutting board to absorb any extra fluids, place the salmon on top and cover with plastic.

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The student will be able to observe a salmon carefully as a part of a group
  • The student will be able to name five parts of a salmon
  • The student will be able to describe the Tlingit way of thinking that a salmon has a spirit that we must respect

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Ask the children to tell the group if they were able to be teachers about salmon for their families? Let them share their responses. Help seat children for good viewing. Let the children know that you have brought a real salmon to look at today... "but before we look at this salmon, here are some things you will need to know."

Activity (Input)

"Tlingit people believe this salmon has a spirit that we must respect." When this salmon was swimming in the water, Grandpa put his net out to catch this fish for our food. He talked to the salmon as it came close to his net. He said, "Salmon swimmer, come swim into my net, so that I can catch you for my family’s food." Some salmon swam right up to his net, and swoosh, jumped right over his net to continue on their way up the river to lay their eggs and fertilize their eggs. Some salmon came right up to his net and swam right under to continue on their way up the river. Some salmon even swam around the end of his net. These are the salmon that didn’t want to be caught, Grandpa believes. But some salmon came right up to his net and swam right into his net! Grandpa believes these salmon wanted to be caught to become our food.

He took the salmon carefully out of his net and talked again to the salmon, telling it in his language, (the Tlingit language) "Goonulcheese, xat." Thank you, salmon, for becoming our food. And he believes that if we say bad things to the salmon, they will go away to another place where people respect them.

This is a good time to talk about children’s knowledge of respect for family’s pets, like dogs and cats. Children know what reaction is given by a pet if we say harsh words or hurt them. Some children may want to share this knowledge with the group.

Then let them know the Tlingit way of thinking about fish is the same knowledge - that fish can sense whether we respect them by the way we talk and act.

"Before we take the cover off this salmon, will you agree to respect this salmon with me? We will tell the salmon how beautiful it is and how we will enjoy it for our food. But we can’t say Yuck! It stinks! I hate fish! It tastes awful! or the spirit of the salmon will leave and go to another place where people will show their respect.

Activity (Guided Practice)

When all have agreed to show their respect (or if a student needs to return to their table or seat) remove the cover from the salmon. Review all the outside parts asking for children’s responses as you pause, pointing to each part.

Then find the small opening in front of the ventral fin where we can begin opening the salmon to look inside.

Continue reviewing each of the internal organs/name, function and color, drawing on knowledge of the students.

Activity (Closure)

When all parts have been identified, tell the children, "Goonulcheese", thank you for being able to respect the spirit of the salmon~n, and cover the fish again.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Leave the cloth salmon with the students to explore and play with.

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Our Southeast Environment
Lesson: Day 4 - Salmon Spawning

Materials:

  • Salmon spawning film (Salmon-Catch to Can) and projector
  • Large paper female salmon*
  • Salmon embryos
  • Orange tissue paper circles
  • Classroom crayons and paste
  • Masking tape
  • Salmon (book by Atsushi Sakurai of photographs of the salmon cycle)*

Preparation:

  • You may want to pre-cut the tissue paper circles because of their tendency to tear easily. (Two for each embryo).
  • Mount the large paper salmon

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The students will increase their knowledge of salmon spawning by watching a film showing female and male behavior while spawning
  • The students will demonstrate their knowledge of salmon spawning by making salmon embryos in tissue paper eggs to put in the ‘‘river’’ near a female salmon

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Review with the students the terms male and female salmon, and how we know a salmon is male or female. Introduce the film by asking the children to watch for real salmon laying eggs and fertilizing eggs in the river.

Activity (Input)

Begin the film, with the sound turned down to be inaudible. Ask the children to tell you when they see salmon coming into the river from the ocean. Let children talk about what they are seeing, pointing out important information, such as the female scooping out a depression for a nest, baby salmon growing inside the eggs during the winter months and hatching in the spring, parent salmon dying after spawning, etc.

When the film is finished, invite the students to make salmon eggs with embryos for a large female salmon in the river. Point out the eye and the food sac on the embryo. Show the children pictures of salmon eggs hatching in the book, Salmon, by Atsushi Sakurai. Then demonstrate how to glue a tissue paper salmon egg on the front and back of a salmon embryo. Tell the children they can then tape their salmon egg under the large paper salmon mounted on the wall.

Activity (Guided Practice)

A female salmon has many eggs. Do you think we can make eggs for our female salmon’s nest? Move among the children to make sure their understanding is correct.

Activity (Closure)

"Do you think we have made enough salmon eggs for our female salmon? Do we need more?" Invite those who are interested to make more salmon embryos in eggs. (There could never be enough!)

Activity (Independent Practice)

Continue working with those children who are making more salmon eggs. Can you guess how many we’ve made? Should we make more? Help the students mount their salmon embryos inside the salmon s body or in some paper "river rocks" below the salmon.

salmon eggs

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Our Southeast Environment
Lesson: Day 5 - River and Salmon

Materials:

  • Cloth silver salmon and cloth red sockeye salmon*
  • Study print of species of salmon*
  • Salmon tag board patterns
  • Tag board
  • Masking tape
  • Water paints, paint brushes and water containers
  • Classroom pencils and scissors
  • Cardboard stands for salmon
  • Blue paper from school roll for river

Preparation:

  • Cut tag board to proper size to accommodate salmon pattern
  • Cut salmon stands from cardboard boxes
  • Tear off a 6’ to 8’ length of blue paper from school paper roll

*Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The student will be able to describe the color change that takes place when some species of salmon move from the saltwater of the ocean to the fresh water of the river
  • The student will demonstrate this knowledge by making a salmon for the river

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Holding up both salmon, ask for a volunteer to describe the differences in color. Explain that these are both sockeye salmon, one which is in the salt water (silver) and one which is in the fresh water of the river (red and green). Showing the students the study print of species of salmon, point out other species of salmon that change color as they enter the river. Point out those species of salmon that do not change color. Tell the students we will make a river in our classroom and fill it with salmon.

Activity (Input)

Demonstrate how to make a salmon by drawing around a salmon pattern on tag board, removing the pattern and cutting out the

shape. Mention that this paper is TOUGH paper to make a TOUGH salmon that will be a strong swimmer in the river. Give suggestions for blowing on and shaking tired hands as you cut this strong salmon.

Activity (Guided Practice and Closure)

Ask children to go to their working spaces. Provide tag board and a salmon pattern for each student. It may help to put a small roll of masking tape on the back of the salmon pattern to keep it from "wiggling". Watch to see if the children have understood the directions, encourage and help those who have trouble cutting.

Have paint boxes and cups of water ready for children to begin painting their salmon. Remind students to paint their salmon on both sides because it will swim upright in the river.

Each child can put his salmon in the river on a cardboard stand. Those who finish early can make river rocks on the blue paper with crayons.

Activity (Independent Practice)

As the children use the fish camp, they will role-play with the salmon, using the knowledge gained in this lesson.

salmon
Click to see bigger image

salmon pattern
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salmon pattern
Click to see bigger image

 

ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR

(List activities of your own)

 

MATHEMATICS

SCIENCE

ART

READING

LANGUAGE ARTS

OTHER

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Living in a Fish Camp
Lesson: Day 6 Fish Camp

Materials:

  • 2 white single sheets sewn together*
  • 2 - Six foot 2 x 4’s with holes drilled at each end and in the center to fit diameter of poles
  • Fish camp props such as pretend clay blueberries, clam shells, baskets, animal skins, dolls, utensils, etc.*
  • 6 rubber bands to fasten tent poles*
  • 7 - Six foot poles*

Preparation:

  • Drill holes in 2 x 4’s for poles
  • Sew 2 single white sheets together, end to end
  • Sign-up poster with class names listed

*Contact Juneau Indian Studies Program for these materials

Objectives:

  • The students will describe a camping experience when they left their home to live outdoors in a small shelter
  • The students will construct a small shelter near our "river"
  • The students will pretend to "live" in a tent at a fish camp

Introduction (set/purpose)

Ask the children if they have ever left their "big house" to live in a "little house" outdoors? What did your "little house" look like? How did you stay warm? Where did you sleep? Did you hear any strange sounds at night? Tell the children that whenever salmon come into the river, people leave their "big houses" and go to live in "little houses" while they catch fish in the river. Let the students know we will make a "little house" or a tent next to our river today, and that we can "live" in our tent while we are fishing in the river.

Activity (input)

Arrange seating on the floor for the children to participate in and observe the tent construction. Fasten two poles together with a rubber band at the top to form a triangle. Ask the students to identify the shape they see.

Put the ends of the poles in the holes in the 2x4’s. Repeat this with two more sets of poles. Fasten a ridge pole across the tops of the three triangles with rubber bands. Talk with the children about what is needed to make a shelter from the rain, then add the tent cover. Establish sharing rules for no more than three children in the fish camp at one time. Ask children to check with the teacher for times fish camp can be used.

Activity (Guided Practice and Closure)

The first three students can begin their time in the fish camp. Children will begin their role-play immediately, but some suggestions can be made:

  • The babies will need to be fed. What can we feed them?
  • How can we catch some fish in the river for food?
  • How can we cook our food?
  • Where will we sleep?
  • How will we stay warm?

Activity (Independent Practice)

The students will continue to role-play in the fish camp throughout the week.

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Living in a Fish Camp
Lesson: Day 7 - Tlingit Food

Materials:

  • Real Tlingit foods: canned baby clams
    smoked salmon*
  • dried seaweed*
    frozen blueberries
  • Pretend Tlingit foods: clam shells*
    paper dry fish*
    paper curl seaweed*
    clay blueberries*
  • Small paper plates
  • Handout of Tlingit foods
  • Classroom crayons

Preparation:

  • Purchase food items needed
  • Gather or make pretend food items

* Contact the Indian Studies Office for local food sources and pretend food.

Objectives:

  • Children will sample real Tlingit foods of salmon, seaweed, blueberries and clams
  • Children will role-play in the fish camp with pretend Tlingit foods
  • Children will identify four kinds of Tlingit food on a handout sheet (clams, dried salmon, seaweed and blueberries)

Introduction (Set/Purpose and Input)

Ask, "What kinds of food could we find near our fish camp to eat without having to go to the grocery store?" Include the four kinds of food we will sample today in the listing made by the children.

Activity (Guided Practice)

When children are seated at tables, begin passing out the four varieties of Tlingit foods, giving information and asking for children’s participation in sharing their knowledge about these

foods:

  • Dried or smoked salmon: Does your family make smoked salmon? Have you ever seen a smokehouse?
  • Blueberries: Do you pick blueberries with your family? What happens to your tongue and fingers when you pick blueberries?
  • Seaweed: This plant grows in salt water, so it tastes very salty. Sometimes we fry it to make it taste like popcorn. It has lots of vitamins and iodine to keep us healthy.
  • Clams: On some beaches we are warned not to dig clams. Some families dig clams and cockles but only during the fall and winter months. Baby clams from the grocery store taste like clams from the beach. They look strange but they taste good!

Activity (Closure)

When children are passed food samples to try, remind them of good ways to accept new foods: "Yes, thank you." "No, thank you." Explain that this will not hurt the feelings of the person who is sharing the food. Children can sample Tlingit foods and visit with each other while they are sampling. Ask children what their favorite food is. Ask about which food is new for them.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Pass out the Tlingit food handout. Children can color the four sample foods and share the paper (and their experience) with their family. Put the pretend Tlingit foods in the fish camp for role-playing.

Tlingit food

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Tlingit food

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Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Living in a Fish Camp
Lesson: Day 8 - Tlingit Clothing

Materials:

  • Real Tlingit children’s clothing*
  • Tlingit fish camp handout (11"x 17") for each student*
  • Tlingit doll clothing in library card pocket*
  • Animal skins and furs*
  • Spray mount adhesive

Preparation:

Gather material listed above

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The student will recognize that deer hide, seal skin and animal furs were used in Tlingit clothing.
  • The student will role-play with Tlingit traditional children’s clothing

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Ask the children to look at the photographs of traditional Tlingit clothing.

Activity (Input)

Talk about how clothing could be made from animal skins and furs, using samples to feel and look at. Help children notice colors, texture and warmth.

Activity (Guided Practice)

"Dress up" a child, using sealskin boots and deerhide dress. Leave this clothing in the fish camp for others to try on.

Hand out the fish camp picture with the library card pocket and clothing. Show the children how the clothing can be put on the doll and removed again, and how the doll can be moved to the child’s favorite place to be in fish camp.

Activity (Closure)

Children will color the clothing, fish camp and doll to use in role-play of favorite places in the fish camp.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Children will take fish camp handout home to continue play.

fish camp handout

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fish camp handout

click to see bigger image

 

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Living in a Fish Camp
Lesson: Day 9 - Singing and Dancing

Materials:

  • Drum and beater*
  • Resource person to teach the Raven Courtship Song
  • Cloth fish*
  • Dance tunics*

Preparation:

Invite a resource person to teach the Raven Courtship Song

* Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • The student will imitate the actions of a raven and an eagle
  • The student will role-play a singer/dancer

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Ask the children how a raven walks, what he likes to eat, and what his voice sounds like. Ask for a volunteer to walk like a raven. Introduce the resource person who will teach the song.

Activity (Input)

Assist the resource person in helping to teach the Raven Courtship Song.

Activity (Guided Practice)

Assist the resource person in helping to organize the class for dancing.

Activity (Closure)

Repeat the song again, having the children dress in dance tunics.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Leave a cassette tape of the song for the listening center.

Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Unit: Living in a Fish Camp
Lesson: Day 10 - Salmon Boy Legend

Materials:

  • Foam rubber "rocks"*
  • Red or orange paper
  • Blocks or small pieces of firewood
  • Small flashlight
  • Cloth salmon*
  • Boy doll with a metal necklace*

Preparation:

Learn the Salmon Boy Legend as told in Kahtahah, by Frances Paul

Value:

Respect for all things. Food cannot be wasted.

*Available from the Indian Studies Office

Objectives:

  • Children will listen to a traditional Tlingit legend
  • Children will be able to illustrate a part of the legend or act out a part of the legend

Introduction (Set/Purpose)

Seat the children on the floor in a circle. Bring the foam rubber rocks out of their container. Begin to put them in a circle, asking the children what shape you are making and what it may be for. This is a good time to talk about campfire safety. Add the colored paper and firewood to the fire circle. Insert the flashlight. Turn out the classroom lights.

Activity (Input)

"Let’s pretend we are outside by our fish camp tent, that the stars are in the sky and it’s dark outside. Can you see some stars? Point to the big dipper if you can see it. On a night like this, if we were at fish camp, and Grandpa was here, we would sit around the fire like we are now and Grandpa would tell us a story... a story about a little boy who liked to catch seagulls."

Tell the Salmon Legend, using the boy doll with the necklace and the cloth salmon to help dramatize the story. When the story is ended, turn on the classroom lights.

Activity (Closure)

Provide drawing paper for children to illustrate the legend. Children can be seated at their working spaces. Use the doll and the cloth salmon to review parts of the story. Ask children to make a picture of one part of the legend, or while still seated in the campfire circle, review parts of the story and ask children to act out some parts of the legend.

Activity (Independent Practice)

Thank the children for being good listeners. Encourage students to share this story with their families.

Salmon Boy Legend

(Reprinted from the book, Kahtahah, by Frances Lackey Paul, Pages 14-19)

"Many years ago, when Raven was still building the world, there was a large village. There, the young boys played in and out of the nearby salmon stream, often snaring sea gulls, one of their favorite games."

"One day, the chief’s son was very hungry after an unsuccessful chase for sea gulls. He yelled to his mother, ‘I’m hungry. Give me something to eat,’ and she gave him the bony shoulder piece of dried salmon. When the boy saw what his mother had given him, he asked scornfully, ‘Why do you always give me the bony shoulder piece that nobody ever wants?’ and flung it away.

"Just then the boys called to him: ‘A sea gull is in your snare. A sea gull is in your snare!’ His hunger forgotten, the chief’s son rushed into the water to retrieve the snare and line, which the sea gull was pulling into deeper water. Farther and farther the sea gull pulled it, just beyond the boy’s reach until the boy disappeared. He had been pulled under the water."

"In the water, on either side of him, appeared to be an army of men, all facing silently in one direction. Their huge eyes stared at him unblinkingly, and when they began to march, he went along with them."

"Time passed, but none of the people took any food although their mouths were constantly moving as if eating. ‘But why can’t I eat?’ he thought, and looking down, saw what he thought were fish eggs. He wondered why they were not eating the eggs. ‘We eat them at home. Why not here? I’ll try to eat some when they are not looking,’ he thought, and he scooped up a handful."

"They kept on marching, and when he thought nobody was looking, he slid some of the eggs into his mouth. Just then the salmon people yelled, ‘Shunyuxklax has eaten our dung Shunyuxklax has eaten our dung’. The chief’s son was mortified, and thus he learned that a person must always speak respectfully about food and not insult it as he had done with the bony shoulder piece of the dried salmon. The salmon people gave him his Tlingit name, Shunyuxklax, which refers to that piece of salmon, and is a name you must remember, otherwise your old people will think that you are not educated."

salmon

"Shunyuxklax adjusted to life with the salmon people and had forgotten his human form until four years later when he became aware of a great movement in the salmon tribe. They began moving away, each one wanting to go to the stream of its birth. Thousands of them started onward, and as they journeyed, one or more would leap out of the water. When he asked why they did that, he was told that they were scouts."

"On the way they met an even greater number of smaller fish, which were silvery in color. They were hilarious with joy, and said they were on their way home, exclaiming, ‘You’re too late, too late. You had better go back. We have finished everything.’ Shunyuxklax had never seen any creatures so crazy as they passed each other."

"On this journey, groups of his army would drop off, explaining, ‘The stream to which we belong is this way,’ and pointing to it, off they would go. This continued until Shunyuxklax arrived at his parents’ stream, which was very wide and shallow, only a few inches deep in some places. On the bank where the houses stood, he saw a row of women squatting near the water’s edge, cutting salmon for easy drying."

woman with salmon

"After a while, his companions said to him, ‘Your mother is over there. Why don’t you go close to her?’ Sure enough, he

recognized his mother, but was afraid to go near and only sidled

up, rushing suddenly away. Indeed, all of his companions edged up close to the women, a few even claiming that some of them had no petticoats on. That is why they rushed up close and then, with great laughter, rushed back to the opposite bank. But they continued to urge Shunyuxklax to go near his mother. She noticed him at last, and calling to her husband, said, ‘Come here. There is a fine-looking young salmon that keeps coming close to me. Spear him so that we can have a nice roast salmon."

"This frightened Shunyuxklax so much that he stayed away, but his companions said, ‘Don’t be afraid. The spear hurts only at first, and then a nice feeling will come over you, and you will be fine. "‘

"At last the husband speared him and turned him over to his wife. She began cutting his neck with her shell knife, but it kept slipping and would not cut. She examined the edge of the knife and exclaimed, ‘This salmon has a copper necklace. It looks like the one my son had on when he disappeared.’ Her husband took the salmon, wrapped a mat around it and placed it on a board near the roof."

"That evening as the people sat around the fire, they heard someone singing. They looked outside but nobody was there--only the salmon lying on the mat. They went inside, and again heard singing. A brave man ran out to find out who was coming, and seeing the mat move, pulled the cover aside. There, instead of a salmon, lay the boy who had been missing for so long. He took the young man to his father and mother, and the boy told them everything that had happened to him during his long absence.

"His father then gave him the same name that the salmon tribe had called him, Shunyuxklax. He was known far and wide by this name, because he was the boy who was captured by the salmon tribe for insulting the precious food of the ‘people who traveled along the tidal waters. ‘"

 Shunyuxklax

 

ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR

MATHEMATICS

SCIENCE

ART

READING

LANGUAGE ARTS

OTHER

Kindergarten
Resources
Available from The Indian Studies Program

Books for Children:

Blueberries For Sal, by Robert McCloskey, Viking Press
A Salmon For Simon, by Betty Waterton, Douglas & McIntyre
Red Tag Comes Back, by Fred Phleger, Harper & Row
Salmon, by Atsushi Sakurai, Alfred A. Knopf
Small Wolf, by Nathaniel Benchley, Harper & Row
Lingit Anee, by Patricia Partnow, Anchorage School District
The Tlingit Way: How to Treat Salmon, by Patricia Partnow, Anchorage School District

Books For The Teacher:

Tlingit Ways of Long Ago, by Maude Simpson & Esther Billman, Sheldon Jackson Museum
Tlingit Thinking, by Katherine Mills, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation
Gathering What The Great Nature Provided, by the people of Ksan, Douglas & McIntyre
Doug Lindstrand’s Alaskan Sketchbook, Sourdough Studio
Coast of Many Faces, by Ulli Steltzer and Catherine Kerr, Douglas & McIntyre
Indian Fishing, by Hilary Stewart, Douglas & McIntyre
Alaska’s Native People, by Lael Morgan, Alaska Geographic Society
Sharing Nature With Children, by Joseph Bharat Cornell, Ananda Publication
English - Tlingit Dictionary: Nouns, Sheldon Jackson College
Beginning Tlingit, by Nora and Richard Dauenhauer, Tlingit Reader, Inc.
Effective Practices In Indian Education, Teacher’s Monograph, by Floy C. Pepper, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

Video Tapes:

Salmon, Catch To Can, Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (Alaska State Film Library)
The Choice Is Ours, U.S. Forest Service (Alaska State Film Library)

Study Prints:

Salmon Anatomy Chart
Fish Camp photographs, Alaska Historical Society
Child in hammock swing photograph, Alaska Historical Society
Tlingit clothing posters
Living by the Seasons, Juneau Indian Studies Program
Southeast Alaska Animal Habitat Mural
Large paper female salmon

Films:

Two Knots On A Counting Rope, Alaska State Film Library

Cassette Tapes:

River & Seagull Sounds, Juneau Indian Studies Program Raven Courtship Song, Juneau Indian Studies Program

Other Resources Available From the Indian Studies Program:

Fish Camp Trunk:
tent, poles, 2x4’s
animal hides and furs
cabbage patch dolls & Tlingit clothing
baby swing
fabric blueberry bush
fabric animals and salmon
fabric clams, seaweed
baskets & containers
deerhide tunic and sealskin boots
woosani for catching salmon
pretend fire

Raven Creation Legend cloth boxes with star, moon, sun, and daylight

Shadow Puppet Production Materials

Tlingit Foods:

dry salmon strips
red ribbon seaweed

Resource People:

Contact the Indian Studies Program for assistance in finding people with expertise as:

historians
singers & dancers
grandparents with subsistence knowledge
storytellers
artisans

CONTENTS
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Kindergarten
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

Third Grade
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

First Grade
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

Fourth Grade
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

Second Grade
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

Fifth Grade
Teacher Overview
Teacher Summary
Lesson Plans/Handouts
Teacher Activity Worksheet
Resource Listing

 

 
 

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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified August 18, 2006