Teacher's Guide

A New State Seal

Enduring Understandings

The enduring understandings related to this lesson include those from each of the six units students have studied.

Estimated Time:

Five class periods

Materials needed:

  • All six unit narratives
  • Art supplies including drawing pencils

Lesson Plan:

  • Distribute to the class the State Seal of Alaska.
  • Discuss the representation of the seal. Look at other state seals on the web. What is the purpose of a State seal? What does it represent? Is this a truthful representation of the State of Alaska?
  • In small groups, students will research and write a paper for one of the major periods of Alaska history:
    1. Prior to European contact
    2. Russia's Colony
    3. America's Territory
    4. Statehood to present day
  • Each paper must include political, economic, social, and cultural issues that best represent that period of history.
  • Each group will develop a design element to represent the major historical era they have researched.
  • A composite design, representing the four eras will be created.
  • Students will present their findings to their state Representatives and Senators and lobby for changes to the current State Seal of Alaska.

Alaska Standards:

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


  Exceeds Meets In Progress
Historical Essay 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.
Seal A good visual representation of the era studied. Reflects political, economic, social and cultural issues of the times. Unique use of visual arts. Attractive and well balanced. Represents the era studied with political, economic, social and cultural issues considered. Is well balanced and attractive. Represents era studied but may lack clear issues of the era studied. May need organization.
Presentation Persuasive, shows a rich appreciation for the era discussed. Poised, polished delivery. Captures the audience with information and visual content of research. Good delivery techniques. Fails to capture interest of the audience. Lack-luster presentation.