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

Athabascan RavenAthabascans of Interior Alaska

Section 6: COULD YOU SURVIVE?
4 to 7 days

OBJECTIVES

Students will exhibit an overall understanding of the concepts of basic needs, natural environment, adaptation, yearly cycle, and culture through the performance of one or more of the activities listed below.
MATERIALS
1.Art supplies
2.Resource material on plants and animals of Alaska (refer to Appendix D).
3. Upper Tanana House Poster
4. Books on Athabascan life or legends (See Appendix C)
PREPARATION
1.Arrange for small-group visits to the museum (optional)
2.Gather information and books on natural resources in your area. (See Appendix D)
ACTIVITIES
1.Design and/or build a model of a shelter which can be made entirely with natural resources from your area or
2.Study and report on one animal indigenous to the Athabascan area, including its life history, yearly cycle, hunting practices and uses by the Athabascans or
3.Make seasonal murals of an Athabascan area or
4.Read one of the books listed in Appendix C of this guide, and find those parts which indicate a) adaptations to the environment and b) values. Report orally to the class or in written form to the teacher or
5.Make a resource nap of the natural resources in your area or
6.Draw up a plan for survival in the natural environment throughout the yearly cycle for your area.

SUMATIVE PROJECTS
The final activity for the unit is designed to help students tie together the information and concepts they have learned. It is also designed to test their understanding of those concepts through their application.

Six different project ideas, all of which center around the question, "could you survive in the natural environment?", have been outlined below. Allow your students the choice of projects. Group work should be encouraged. Your task will be to gather sufficient resource material so that the students can successfully finish their projects.

The projects are listed in increasing order of difficulty. Try to steer lower students toward those at the beginning of the list.

SHELTER MODEL
1.Design and/or build a model of a shelter which can be made entirely with natural resources from your area.

Resources:Upper Tanana House Poster, books on different types of shelters around the world, art supplies. Things for students to consider: What makes a house warm? How many people will live in your house? How long will the house last? How long will it take to make the house?

ANIMAL REPORT
2.Study and report on one animal indigenous to the Athabascan parts of Alaska. Include the animal's life history, yearly cycle, the way it was traditionally hunted by the Athabascans, and the ways they used the animal.

Resources:Local residents, if you live in an Athabascan area; William 0. Pruitt, Jr.'s Animals of the North Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Notebook Series Nelson's Hunters of the Northern Forests (for good readers); other books on Alaskan wildlife; Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum for information on the uses of the animal.

BOOK REPORT
3.Read one of the books listed at the end of Alaskan Athabascans. Find those parts which indicate adaptations to the environment. Find the parts which indicate cultural values. Report either orally to the class or in written form to the teacher on your findings.
SEASONAL MURAL
4.Working in small groups, have students make murals showing their home area or another Athabascan area during the four seasons. Resources shown should be those which would actually be available at the season shown.
RESOURCE MAP
5.Make a resource map of the natural resources in your area.

Resources:local hunters or biologists; the volume of Alaska Regional Profiles which deals with your area, published by the University of Alaska Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center; Christine Heller's Wild, Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska James E. Morrow's Illustrated Keys to the Fresh Water Fishes of Alaska.

SURVIVAL PLAN
6.Draw up a plan for survival in the natural environment throughout the yearly cycle for your area.

Resources:Same as number 5 preceding.

Things for students to consider: What basic needs must be met? When can different animals most easily be hunted? Can some resources be stored from one season to the next? How much travelling will you have to do through the yearly cycle? How would travel be accomplished in your area? How will you use or prepare the natural resources?

Section 1 Adaptations to Basic Needs
Section 2 Athabascans
Section 3 Upper Tanana Athabascans
Section 4 The Yearly Cycle
Section 5 There's More To Culture Than Basic Needs
Section 6 Could You Survive?
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
ALASKAN ATHABASCANS
WHEN PEOPLE MEET ANIMALS
A VIEW OF THE PAST
TETLIN AS I KNEW IT

OTHER SOCIAL STUDIES UNITS

 
 

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