Alaska Studies Grades 9-12

Grade 9-12

This list may be customized for individual lesson plans and records.  Alaska Content Standards (in history, geography, and government) should be recorded as they are addressed throughout the year.  For your convenience, each item in the Mastery and Developmental lists on the following pages is matched to the Content Standard (in history, geography, and government) that it supports.   Items that meet the Alaska Cultural Standards are marked with an asterisk (* ). 

CONTENT LISTHistoryGeographyGovernmentCultural
Physical geography of Alaska:Land forms, climate, ecosystems, and coastal environment    
Alaska Natives: pre-European contactArchaeological evidence, Native economics, and Native cultures    
Euro-American exploration     
Russian-American:Governmental structure, settlement patterns, resource development, trade, transportation, and communication    
U.S. acquisition to territorial status (1912):Treaty of Cession, government, resource development, and settlement patterns    
Territorial status to Statehood (1959):Government structure, resource development and management, World War II, and Cold War era    
Statehood to the Present:State and local government, land water acts (Statehood, ANCSA, ANILCA, and Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act), regions and economics, Alaska Permanent Fund, and national and international geopolitical status    
Alaska’s economic resources:Utilizing resources, transferring natural resources, the future of the state’s economic resources    
Alaska’s cultural landscape     
Alaska’s future:Emerging global community, economy and government, and strategic location    

The Alaska Studies course gives students the opportunity to learn about Alaska and to learn why active Alaskan citizenship is important.  The course emphasizes Alaska's distinctive physical and human geography.  It examines historical events, economic resource development, and the changing political structures of Alaska.  The major federal laws that govern Alaska's lands and waters are studied as well as Alaska's changing geopolitical significance.  Public ownership dominates Alaska's land and water resources, a situation requiring informed citizen-owners who will need to continue managing the state for a sustainable future.


• * Recognize that human experience is recorded in different voices representing different perspectives. (A5)
• Demonstrate understanding that Alaska history is composed of key turning points. (A7)
• * Demonstrate that Alaska history is a bridge to understanding self, groups of people, and their relationship to society. (D)
• * Understand that Alaskan societies, communities, and environments experience continuity and change through time. (B1)
• Analyze Alaskan historical data from a variety of primary resources, including letters, diaries, oral accounts, archaeological sites, artifacts, art, maps, photos, historical sites, documents, and secondary research materials. (C2)

• * Know and understand Alaskan geography and how it affects people and places. Identify factors affecting decisions to migrate, analyze relationships between specific human activities and place, and understand how extreme physical conditions affect human settlement. (C, D)
• * Understand and explain various types of regions (e.g., physical, political, cultural), the factors that transform regions and change regional boundaries, and how people perceive region and place. (B)
• Identify major land and water forms and major population centers in Alaska. (A)
• * Understand why different points of view exist regarding contemporary geographic issues. (F)
• Know the ways in which human movement and migration influence the character of a place. (D)
• Make and use maps, graphs, and globes to gather, analyze, and report spatial (geographic) information about Alaska. (A1, A2, A4, A6, B)

• Analyze the forces and influences of economics, such as environmental issues, resources, transportation, communication, natural disasters, competing/cooperating interests, international trade, and organizations on the State. (G)
• Understand the importance of Alaska’s economic resources and how they impact citizens as they manage the state for a sustainable future.
• Analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to current and emerging global issues as they affect Alaska. (D5)
• Make informed decisions about where to work, travel, and seek new opportunities in Alaska. (G)
• Understand the organization of Alaska’s state government. (C1)
• Understand the various forms of the State’s local governments and the agencies and commissions that influence students’ lives and property. (C1)
• Accept responsibility for protecting and enhancing the quality of life in the State through the political and governmental processes. (C2)
• Understand the Constitution of Alaska and Sec. 4 of the Statehood Act known as the Statehood Compact. (C3)
• Understand the importance of the historical and current roles of Alaska Native communities. (C4)
• Understand the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and its impact on the State. (C5)
• Understand the importance of the multicultural nature of the State. (C6)
• Understand the obligations that land and resource ownership place on the residents and government of the State. (C7)
• Identify the roles of and relationships among the federal, tribal, and State governments and understand the responsibilities and limits of the roles and relationships. (C8) 

* Meets Cultural Standards

• Compare and contrast Alaska’s major resource booms (beginning with the Russian fur trade and continuing to the present).
• Chart the growth of Alaskan cities using a variety of indicators.
• Construct an economic map of Alaska.
• Debate the pros and cons of receiving a Permanent Fund check and how it can best be used to help Alaskans in the present and future.
• Prepare a costs/ benefits analysis of constructing a road to Bethel (or any other off-road Alaskan community).
• Describe erosion systems and other physical process (e.g., earthquakes, permafrost) at work in cold climate regions.
• Research and debate a local issue that impacts Alaska and its neighboring countries.
• Write a position paper on the use of Alaska’s resources and send it to a local, state, or federal agency.
• Testify before a board, commission, or other governmental agency on a current Alaskan issue.
• Participate in a panel discussion on a historical or contemporary issue that incorporates a variety of perspectives (e.g., Russian traders, explorers, Aleuts, Athabaskans).
• Create a map showing trade patterns of Russian-America, items being traded, and explanations for why they were traded.
• Create a travel brochure and accompanying map describing the environmental regions and characteristics along the trans-Alaska pipeline.
• Debate the pros and cons of the impact of the Magnusen-Stevens Fisheries Act on state, national, and international fisheries in waters off Alaska’s coast.
• Propose a new law for Alaska’s youth and forward it to your representative for consideration.

• Artistic renditions: drawings, sculptures, models, dioramas
• Brochures
• Charts
• Debates
• Diagrams
• Essays
• Hand-drawn and computer-generated maps
• Individual or group projects and presentations
• Journals
• Multimedia projects and presentations
• Panel discussions
• Political cartoons
• Position papers
• Research papers
• Test and quizzes
• Timelines