The Alaska Unit
Sneak Peek at the Week:
*Prepare for the Iditarod.
*Have a taste test: augutuk, salmon, jerky.
Journal Topics:
*Draw a polar bear.
*Draw an Eskimo in traditional dress.
*Draw a dog sled and huskies.
*Draw the Northern Lights.
Shared Reading
Oh No!  by Bronwen
Focus Poetry
"Two Little Eskimos"
Center Ideas:
*art: make mitten people

*fine motor: perforate a bear shape, scribble art bear, carve "soapstone"
(use a pencil to carve a simple design into hotel-sized soaps)

*writing: "Eskimos wear...."       "Eskimos eat..."    "In Alaska, I could see..."
Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
*The class will want you to read this story over and over!  We discuss the
different clothing mentioned in the story, especially the mukluks (boots).  
Students make their own mukluks using paper sacks, cotton balls, and
twine.  We study simple Eskimo designs to add, too.

Northern Lights by Susan Canizares
Northern Lights by Dorothy Souza
*Wow!  The students are always amazed that the sky could be these colors
at night. We create our own "Northern Lights" using colored chalk dipped in
buttermilk on black construction paper.  The results are beautiful!

A Child's Alaska by Claire Rudolf Murphy
*This is a great picture book, full of photographs.  Discussing each picture,
we compare them to the things/animals/clothing we have in Texas.  We
organize their ideas using a 2-column chart.  Students are given a similar
paper with 2 columns, titled "Eskimo" and "Texan".  Students are to
compare traditional Eskimo clothing, shelter, and food with traditional
Texan clothing, shelter, and food.

I Can Read About Eskimos by Ellen Schultz
*After reading lots of information, we discuss/describe key vocabulary:
husky, igloo, mukluks, Eskimo, and moose.  Each student is given a
booklet titled
"My Alaskan Word Book".  Each key vocabulary word is listed
in the book.  Students illustrate and add captions to each page.

Dashing Through the Snow: The Story of the Junior Iditarod by Sherry
*We read this to prepare for our own Iditarod!
*We estimate "gold nuggets".
*We also record our estimates for how many bites it will take to eat an
Eskimo Pie.  Then we get to eat one, tallying each bite to compare the
actual number of bites to the estimated number. Yum!
Science/Social Studies:
*The Blubber Glove Experiement!  To show how whales survive the icy
northern waters, we do this test.  Students put on rubber gloves (the kind
nurses use).  Then they place one hand in a bowl of ice cold water.  The
other hand is placed in the "blubber glove" (a large food service-type glove
full of Crisco) before putting it in the icy water.  Students record the
*Iditarod Links       
*Alaska for Kids   
State of Alaska Online   
Iditarod WebQuest      
Iditarod 2001