Teacher's Guide

Alaska’s Current Issues

Estimated Time:

Two class periods

Materials needed:

  • Link to Modern Alaska unit narrative
  • Access to statewide daily newspaper

Lesson Plan:

  • In groups of 3-5, students brainstorm and generate a list of Alaska issues based on news articles, television news, or other sources. Different students act as facilitator, recorder, etc. Each group posts a list of topics on the wall.

  • The class reassembles to examine and discuss the group lists. Students note frequency of topics, diversity of topics. Students discuss the question: 'What do these lists tell us about what concerns Alaskans?"

  • A class topic list is generated which includes all topics, prioritized by frequency.

  • The entire class works to categorize the topic list into two jurisdictional areas:

    • Those topics within the domain of state and local governments
    • Those topics within the domain of federal and tribal governments
  • From the lists of topics, and with guidance from the teacher, the students select one topic from each domain to investigate during the week. Students use the internet, newspapers, and other sources to research the topic.

Alaska Standards:

History: B, C
Government: C, E
AK History: AH. CC 5


  Exceeds Meets In Progress No Attempt
Content Student actively researches topic from a variety of sources. Student is engaged in class discussion, listens to the comments of others, and exhibits good understanding of the issues. Student contributes to the quality of class discussion of the topics. Student has done research on the topic and participates in class discussion. Student has done little research and has minimal involvement in class discussion. No research has been attempted and the student doesn't participate in class discussion.