Teacher's Guide

Reporting on WWII in Alaska

Enduring Understandings

Alaska has been impacted by and has had a role in national and world events. The U.S. Government has been a major participant in Alaska’s economic development by helping development of marine, land and air transportation and communication systems.

Estimated Time:

Ten class periods

Materials needed:

  • Course links: Alaska’s Heritage, Adventures in the Alaska Economy
  • Samples of varied news magazines
  • Printer, Copier
  • Most word processing programs have a newsletter format, which will work well for a template for this activity. Photo Shop would be perfect for the magazine concept.

Before the unit:

Organize students into research teams - reporters, editors, editorial cartoonists, advertising, design, layout and compilation/ distribution.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Discuss the various components of a news magazine with students and investigate several sample formats. Explain that the class is going to produce a magazine that is the 65-year anniversary of WW II in Alaska special issue.
  2. Articles, letters to the editor, political cartoons, authentic photographs, advertisements, editorials and a cover design etc need to be developed.
  3. Students will access the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) web site to learn about the history of this organization and the role that AFN played in the resolution of Alaska Native land claims under the Alaska Native Land Claims Settle Act (1971). Both text and video clip are provided on this site.
  4. Students meet in small teams as a magazine staff to publish a special issue which has features that answer the question: How did World War II impact Alaska?
  5. Suggested topics might include:
    • The importance of the Aleutians
    • Aleut relocation
    • Building military might
    • The importance of railroads
    • Al Can Highway construction
    • Russian airlift from Ft. Wainwright
    • Communication systems
    • Mining
    • Japanese Internment
    • Role of Alaska: Territorial Guard
    • Interviews with Alaska veterans from WWII
  6. Teams produce drafts over several class periods and review each other’s drafts. The final, edited magazine is compiled and distributed to other history classes, the library, the administration etc.

Alaska Standards:

History: B2, C1, C2, C3
Geography: F1, F2
AK History: AH. PPE 4, AH. ICGP 5, AH. ICGP 9

Assessment:

  Exceeds Meets In Progress Not Started
Content Perceptive, insightful written contribution(s). A commitment to a high quality product is obvious. Sources are cited Writing is thoughtful and shows evidence of good research. Sources are cited. Writing is sketchy and shows little evidence of research. Not enough product to assess.
Visual Element Use of primary sources to support writing is outstanding. Photos, maps, advertisements and/or cartoons are appropriate, well integrated. Primary sources are used well to support writings. Photos, maps, advertisements are used well. Photos, maps and other primary sources used at random or are few. Not enough product to assess.
Format Colorful, interesting and reader-friendly. Unique use of primary source materials. Interesting to the reader. Good application of primary sources. May be missing some pertinent information and/or references. Not enough product to assess.