Teacher's Guide

Alaska's Cultures: Cultures Use Key Resources

Enduring Understandings

Cultural groups develop within the dimensions of time and space and the use of key resources within these dimensions produces cycles and patterns of life within that culture.

Estimated Time:

Two class periods

Materials needed:

Link to Cultures unit narrative.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Ask the class what they know about the geography of Northwest Alaska. Have a map of Alaska available. Ask for predictions about how people might have lived in Northwest Alaska for the thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Europeans. What were the key resources? What would happen in the winter? Put the months of the year across the blackboard and make predictions about how people lived in each month.
  2. Have students read “Ipani Eskimos: A Cycle of Life in Nature” by James K. Wells and available on line at:
  3. www.alaskool.org. The book is in the “Literature” section of the web site and describes the key resources used by the Ipani Eskimos prior to contact with the Europeans.
  4. Following the reading of the text, ask the students to again consider the life of the Northwest Ipani Eskimos month by month.
  5. Focus questions: What were the key resources? What is meant by a cycle of life? How is the cycle of life related to the key resources?

Alaska Standards:

Culture: A, B, E
History: A, B, C, D
Government: A, C, E
AK History: AH PPE 2, AH CPD 1, AH CPD 2, AH CPD 3


  Exceeds Meets In Progress Not Started
Content Not only are issues related to the question clearly explained, the work indicates a sophisticated understanding and insightful view of the historical era studied. Issues are clearly explained and include pertinent data. There is clear understanding of the historical era studied. Writing is generalized and lacks substance. There may be significant errors. No research has been completed or written work attempted.