Environmental Education in Chenega Bay,
This document is a sample of curriculum produced for Chenega Bay Environmental Program 2006
Chenega Bay, Alaska
|Chenega Bay Environmental Program
The Native Village of Chenega
Goals for Successful
Chenega IRA Council
|Chenega Bay Environmental Program - 2006
|Environmental Education in Chenega Bay, Alaska
Table of Contents
presented in this booklet are based on existing
curriculums or classes. The exercises were modified to fit
the individual needs of the students and community of
Chenega Bay. See ist of references on page 32 for resources
used in developing the class presentations.
A Scientific Procedure sheet is included on page 32 and is
intended to be used with classes that offer an experiment.
State of Alaska and Chugach regional school district standards
are applied when developing each class. General
standard topics are listed at the beginning of each class.
Current themes the school is presenting as part of their
unified teaching methods are taken into consideration and
incorporated into presentations.
Traditional ecological knowledge and local expertise is
used whenever possible in class presentations.
The appropriateness and relevance of the material to what
the students of Chenega Bay experience in their daily lives
is also considered and the material is shaped, as needed,
to reflect that. For example, a particular exercise on combustion
engines and air quality may utilize a picture of
children riding to school on a school bus, which is something
most children in the villages do not experience. Instead,
a picture of kids walking, riding on a boat or an
ATV to school is used in juxtaposition to the school bus
picture and the differences are discussed.
Natural events, traditional subsistence activities, story
telling, art and music are just some of the tools used to
capture the students imagination and to instill a sense of
connectivity and ownership of the local environment.
For the Little Ones:
Crayons, non-toxic pens or paint
1. Alutiiq word for berries is atsuq.
Russian word for berries is chernika.
2. Who eats berries? (Bugs, birds, bears, fish, people.)
3. What different things can you do with berries?
4. Draw a picture of your favorite thing about blueberries. Use the paints, pens, crayons or the
blueberries themselves to color with.
5. Write a sentence describing your picture.
6. Sort berries into different kinds, sizes, colors, shapes.
For the Older Ones Tools Needed:
Blueberry identification pages
1. Review and discuss above information (1-6)
a) Why are berries sweet? Sugars, to attract eaters, so seeds
will be scattered.
b) Competition for resources. What happens if there are not
enough berries for everyone?
2. How are blueberries used (besides for food)?
a) dyes - Alutiq tradition of dyes made with blueberries for
painting visors, masks and clothing.
b) Fish bait
c) Medicinal properties. Teas are made with leaves. Berries contain important antioxidants
3. Introduce the 4 local species of blueberry.
a) Alaskan blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense)
b) Oval-leafed blueberry (V. ovalifolium)
c) Dwarf blueberry (V. caespitosum)
d) Bog blueberry (V. uliginosum)
(Note: Substitute species used here with local varieties.)
4. Exercise: Each student is given 4 unidentified berry bush samples in separate zip lock bags, one from each species of plant. Samples should include twigs, leaves and berries from each specimen plant. Bags may contain labels with additional habitat or descriptive information on them. Using a handout of printed descriptions, or a plant identification book, students must identify and label each specimen.
a) Which species might be “better”? Why?
b) Seasonal availability and habitat zones.
3. Muskeg/bog meadows
4. Climax spruce / hemlock forests
5. “Edge” species.
Oval - a slightly flattened
Blueberry Specimen Identification Worksheet