Grade 1

Grade 1

Totem Poles (Kootéeyaa)

One of the first things anyone who sees an old village site notices are the mag­nificent totem poles perched along the shore. To us today totems are beautiful works of art. To the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska they also hold deep meaning and are of great significance. They tell clan stories and describe important historical events. Some even signify the final resting place of clan leaders.

Spruce Trees (Shéiyi)

This unit explores the use of the spruce tree. The roots provided containers for cooking, hats to keep people dry and lashings for many of the tools used. The trunk gives us canoes, paddles and temporary shelters, and the pitch was melted down and used as an antiseptic on cut and burns. Many atóow--clan treasures--are carved from the trunks of spruce trees or woven from the roots.

Plants (Kayaaní)

Although many needs are now met with commercially produced plant products, Tlingit people continue to gather plants for nutritious food, herbal medicine and to create cultural treasures. Tlingits believe everything has a spirit. Respect and thanks are expressed when gathering what nature provides.

Tale of an Alaska Whale

The book, Tale of an Alaska Whale, tells a story of the origin of the killer whale and is also known as Naatsilanei. Listening to the story, as read from a book or told by a culture bearer or storyteller, is the basis for the unit. Viewing a video of a storyteller adds another dimension to the experience and provides opportunities for comparison activities. Guided reading (for older students), retelling the story and writing a story extension are also part of the unit.

How the Raven Stole the Sun

The book, How Raven Stole the Sun is one version of how light was brought to the world. Listening to this story is necessary before introducing other activities in the unit. Viewing a video version of the story provides opportunities for comparison activities. Guided reading (for older students), retelling the story, studying the setting and writing additional "Raven as Trickster" stories are also part of the unit.

Berries (Gáan)

Description: Southeast Alaska has abundant resources and Haida people developed food gathering techniques around these seasonal resources, including fish, berries, and game. Personal Names: Jordan Lachler, Cherilyn Holter, Linda Schrack, Julie Folta

Beach (Chaaw Salíi)

Description: A series of elementary level thematic units featuring Haida language, culture and history. This unit is best suited for the spring because many schools conduct Sea Week/Month activities during April or May. Personal Names: Jordan Lachler, Cherilyn Holter, Linda Schrack, Julie Folta

Kaaxgal.aat, Elizabeth Peratrovich

In this unit, students study the life and work of the remarkable Elizabeth Peratrovich, civil rights champion of Alaska. They learn about the importance of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), and how these organizations continue to promote civil rights for everyone. The rich historical context of events in the 1940s provides the backdrop for research and discussions contained in unit activities.

Hooligan (Saak)

The first high tide in May brings the celebration of returning hooligan, with seagulls, seals and seal lions, eagles, ra­vens, crows and people all joining in this welcoming of spring. Students learn the cultural and ecological rules to guarantee the return of this valuable food source in this unit.

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