Teacher's Guide

Adventures in the Alaska Economy Today

Enduring Understandings

The enduring understandings related to this lesson include those from each of the six units students have studied. The Adventures in Alaskan Economy was developed to increase students' understanding of basic economic concepts and of the historical development of Alaska's economy. Major events such as the Klondike gold rush and the rise and fall of the Bering Sea whaling fishery occurred as described, but specific characters, and the roles they play in the book are fictionalized.

Estimated Time:

Two weeks +

Materials needed:

Lesson Plan:

  • Have students read The Adventures in Alaskan Economy in small groups. Each group will read and discuss one episode. (There are nine episodes.)
  • Each group presents their findings to the whole group. Emphasis should be given to the boom and bust theme recurrent throughout Alaska's history.
  • Since the comic book goes only as far as statehood, discuss with the class episodes that could be added to bring the book up to date. Some topics could be: ANCSA, oil discovery, pipeline construction, Alaska Lands Act, subsistence, Permanent Fund, tourism, Valdez oil spill, natural resources, commercial fishing, 9/11 and Homeland Security.
  • Have groups select one of these new episodes that could be added to the comic book and work on that episode with the economic concepts as well as historical aspects of the era depicted in comic form.
  • Each group needs to organize itself for accompanying narrative, story line, graphic artistry and dialogue.


Alaska Standards:

History: A, B, C, D
Government: F
AK History: AH. CPD 1, AH. CPD 2, AH. CPD 3, AH. CPD 5


  Exceeds Meets In Progress Not Started
Historic perspectives The body of work shows an accurate and insightful representation of events. The work shows an accurate representation of historical events. All historical events are not accurate. There is none or not enough evidence to evaluate.
Graphic Representation There is colorful, entertaining use of graphic details. Character representations are true to life. There are well executed graphic representations of characters and events. Graphics are too simplistic and real life representations are lost. There is none or too little evidence to evaluate.
Narrative / Dialogue / Story Line There is a compelling dialogue that fits well into the historical story line. The dialogue and story line and are interesting. The dialogue and story line are unorganized and/or sketchy. There is none or too little evidence to evaluate.