Teacher's Guide

Russia’s Colony: A Story of the Colony Through Primary Sources (Part 1)

Enduring Understandings

Beginning in the 15th century, western European countries developed new attitudes and technologies to sail to lands unknown to them, which they explored and mapped, and from which they took resources. Europeans viewed Natives as inferior, and did not honor their rights or sovereignty.

Exploiting Alaska’s resources led to creation of a Russian monopoly company. Russians were dependent on Native Alaskans for labor, supplies and other necessities.

The Russian Orthodox mission in Alaska helped to defend Alaska Native rights and established schools and orphanages.

Estimated Time:

Two class periods

Materials needed:

Course links: Russia’s Colony unit narrative, Russian American Reader
Other link:Alaska’s Heritage

Lesson Plan:

  1. Have students review the Russian American Timeline connected to the Russia’s Colony unit narrative.
  2. Students then read, individually or in small groups, the Russia’s Colony narrative.
  3. In front of the whole class model how to examine a document from the Russian Reader relating to the Russian period.
  4. Have students read following documents from the Russian Reader related to resources: Fur Harvests, Russian American Company and Letters Between Russia and Kodiak.
    When discussing the series of three letters, consider whose story is believable. Have students reconstruct the complete story, pulling together various strands of information and opinions. Analyze what the letters tell about the difficulties of getting furs and supplies back and forth between Russia and Alaska.
  5. Students complete Written Document Analysis Worksheets.

Alaska Standards:

Culture: B, E
History: A, B, C, D
Geography: B, D, F
AK History: AH. ICGP 2, AH. PPE 3, AH. CC 1

Assessment: Review A Story of Russia’s Colony and worksheets.

  Exceeds Meets In Progress Not Started
Content Body of work shows a deep understanding of the Russian period of Alaskan history and the ability to analyze and interpret primary documents. Work shows an understanding of Russia’s Colony and some ability to interpret primary documents. Work shows minimal understanding of the historical period and of primary documents reviewed. No research has been completed or written work attempted.

*Lesson based on Alaska Studies course materials, Anchorage School District Curriculum