Teacher's Guide

OUR LEGACY

Theme

     The unit, Our Legacy, gives students an opportunity to bring what they are learning about the gold rush to events happening today. Historic primary source documents (link to teacher guide) focus on three main questions: How did the gold rush change the population, How did the gold rush impact Native Alaskans, and What did Alaska get from the gold rush.

Alaska State Content Standards

     Alaska State Content Standards addressed in Our Legacy: Students should:

  • Understand that history is a narrative told in many voices and expresses various perspectives of historical experience (History: A6)
  • Use historical data from a variety of primary resources and secondary research materials (History: C2)
  • Evaluate content from the speaker's or author's perspective (Eng/L.A: E2)
  • Understand the necessity and purpose of government (Gov/Civ.: A1)
  • Recognize the communication styles of different cultures and their possible effects on others (Eng/L.A: E4)
  • Compare, contrast and predict how places and regions change with time (Gov: B8)
  • Know that the need for people to exchange goods, services and ideas creates population centers, cultural interaction and transportation and communication links (Geo: D1)
  • Interpret demographic trends to project future changes and impacts on human environmental systems (Geo: F4)
  • Understand the obligations that land and resource ownership place on the residents and government of the state (Gov/Civ: C7)
    Respect and validate knowledge that has been derived from a variety of cultural traditions (Cult: A4)
    An understanding of the dynamics of cultural systems as they change over time and as they are impacted by external forces (Cult:B2)
  • Recognizes the depth of knowledge that is associated with the long inhabitation of a particular place (Cult: C2)
  • Draws parallels between knowledge derived from oral tradition and that derived from books (Cult: D1)
Additional Resources for Our Legacy
Getting Started

     Ask students to define legacy [anything handed down as from an ancestor]. Have students list the things that have come down to them from their ancestors. What legacy did the gold-seekers leave us? What legacy did the Native Alaskans from 100 years ago leave us? Have students predict what Alaska will be like in another 100 years

Classroom Extension Ideas for the theme Our Legacy

Question 1: How did the gold rush change the population?

  • For additional information about the population changes, read "Gold Rushers North: A Census Study of the Yukon and Alaskan Gold Rushes, 1896-1900 by James H. Ducker in An Alaska Anthology, edited by Stephen Haycox and Mary Childers Mangusso. Pages 206-221.
  • Visit the website of Pan for Gold Database. Over 28 different databases in the help you search records about people during the Alaska gold rush era.
  • Use the Alaska Community and Business Development website for current information about communities in Alaska.
  • Have students complete a research project on a gold rush town.
Assessing student progress toward standards in Our Legacy using activities in Question 1: How did the gold rush change the population?

Standards:

Sample activity:

Compare, contrast and predict how places and regions change with time (Gov: B8)

Know that the need for people to exchange goods, services and ideas creates population centers, cultural interaction and transportation and communication links (Geo: D1)

Interpret demographic trends to project future changes and impacts on human environmental systems (Geo: F4)

 

Student selects a gold rush town in Alaska through research (census records, newspapers, information from current sources) is able to accurately describe how the town has changed and predict the town's population and main occupations in 10-15 years.

Scoring Guide: In order to MEET the standard the student's work must contain:

2-3 correct examples of how a former gold rush town has changed are presented with valid resources identified;

A credible prediction for the future that includes accurate demographic projects and a general understanding of what environmental systems will be impacted by the town's growth;

Evidence that the student understands why this location will become an important population center.

Assignment is complete, on time and legible.

     For additional assessment ideas see Assessment and Scoring Guide model.

Question 2: How did the gold rush impact Native Alaskans? (SA)

     The SA notation on this activity suggests that this topic may be a sensitive area for discussion. It is important that you feel prepared and comfortable when students begin to debate and think about this issue. This concept of Alaska Native rights is also explored in the theme Discovery.

     For more background information read:

  • Alaska, A History of the 49th State, by Claus-M. Naske (1987) pp. 186-208.
  • Alaska's History by Harry Ritter (1997) pp.120-121

     Visit informative web sites:

     Suggested classroom activity:

     Class Culture. Have students explore a cultural value, such as what things they consider to be wrong or unacceptable behavior. Using a small group (3-5 students) try to agree on a list of things that are wrong. By repeating the process the class uses the lists agreed to in the small group to create one list that everyone accepts. Class members can try to persuade others to accept their belief through speech and debate. Students will see that even within their classroom there are many different cultures. Although every person has his/her own culture there are some things we all agree on. Those areas of agreement form the class culture.

     The issue of subsistence continues to be debated in Alaska. Have students do additional research about this topic. Design a project that helps students demonstrate their knowledge of selected standards. Through additional research and a presentation ask students to answer the questions, How did the gold rush impact Native Alaskans and can the land be shared.

     Have students evaluate the various sources they use to gather information. Consider the date, the author, author's bias, the audience, and unanswered questions. Additional worksheets to help students analyze sources can be found at the American Memory project.

     Resources on the Internet:

Assessing student progress toward standards in Our Legacy using activities in Question 2: How did the gold rush impact Native Alaskans?

Standard:

Sample activity:

Recognizes the depth of knowledge that is associated with the long inhabitation of a particular place (Cult: C2)

Draws parallels between knowledge derived from oral tradition and that derived from books (Cult: D1)

Respect and validate knowledge that has been derived from a variety of cultural traditions (Cult: A4)

Recognize the communication styles of different cultures and their possible effects on others (Eng/L.A: E4)

Understand the obligations that land and resource ownership place on the residents and government of the state (Gov/Civ: C7)

Students research and present their findings and opinions about: Sharing the Land.

Students research and present their information about how the Tanana Indians used the Tanana valley and how the gold-seekers wanted to use the same valley.

Through a written paper, an oral presentation or a digital presentation students are able to demonstrate:

2-3 important land uses that the Tanana Indians had for their area; information is included that validates the knowledge that the people had about their land; at least 2 examples of information about the Tanana Indians use is found in oral tradition;

Includes a conclusion based on respect of different cultural values

The final conclusion: "Can the land be shared" is prepared for two audiences:

One for the government people in Washington D.C. and One for Chief Alexander to share with his village.

 

 

 

Question 3: What did Alaska get from the gold rush?

     Ask students what they know about telegrams. Have them practice writing an important idea with as few words as possible. How does sending an email or writing a note from a telephone message compare to sending a telegram? What things change and what things remain the same about language and communications?


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Alaska's Gold was developed through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development.  1999.  All rights reserved.   Alaska Gold Themes written by Cristine Crooks, Alaska Consultants in Education.  Alaska's Gold Themes website developed by WEBDesign.