The 7th grade Mt. Fuji Team website

In Language Arts and Social Studies you will be reading and studying, Touching Spirit Bear, you will research various aspects of the novel.  In your research, you will come to better understand information about the geography of Alaska, the Tlingit Indians, Totem Poles, Circle Justice, and the Kermode Spirit Bear.

Day 1-Locations

Geography: You may use google maps, state capitol mapand itouchmap to find absolute and relative locations.

You will be given two blank maps. One will be Alaska and one will be a US map showing Alaska as inset. On your map template, you must include the following:

 Create a Key

·       Compass rose (both maps)

    ·       Capital of Minnesota and Alaska (both maps)

*Cole’s Cabin (north of Ketchikan)

*Using a brightly colored pencil/crayon/marker, trace Cole’s journey from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Ketchikan, Alaska on the map of the United States.

 On the map locate and label:

·       Minneapolis, Minnesota (map of the United States)

    ·       St. Paul, Minnesota (map of the United States)

    ·       Aleutian Islands (map of Alaska)

    ·       Ketchikan (map of Alaska)

    ·       Nome (map of Alaska)

    ·       Anchorage (map of Alaska)

    ·       Juneau (map of Alaska)

    ·       Valdez (map of Alaska)

    ·       Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (map of Alaska)

Natural Features (locate and label):

·       Mt. McKinley (map of Alaska)

    ·       Yukon River (map of Alaska)

    ·       Arctic Ocean (map of Alaska)

    ·       Pacific Ocean (map of Alaska)

    ·       Bering Sea (map of Alaska)

1. Absolute Location of Ketchikan, Alaska ________________________________________________________________


2. Absolute Location of Minneapolis, Minnesota ____________________________________________________________


Day 2-Alaska Geography

Alaska State Geography and Key FactsDirections: Answer the questions below by using the links to research your answers. Do NOT simply copy and paste your information. Simply write your answers in bulleted form or one-word responses, unless otherwise indicated.
3. What is Alaska’s postal abbreviation?
4. What is the name Alaska derived from?
5. What was the first capital of Alaska?
6. How did the United States acquire Alaska?  Respond in a complete sentence.
7. How much was Alaska acquired for?
8. What is Alaska’s largest city?
9. In what year did Alaska become a state?
10. What is the highest point in Alaska? How high is it?
11. The name of the tallest peak (#10) has an alternate name. What is it?
12. What are five myths about the state of Alaska?
13. What are two major industries in Alaska?
14. What do the seven smaller stars on the flag represent?15. What does the largest star on the flag represent? Why?16. Where did the idea for the flag originate?

Day 3-Life in Alaska

Watch the two videos from Discovery Channel about a family, the Kilchers, who lead a subsistence lifestyle in Alaska with few modern conveniences. (answers #s 17-19). (answers # 20)

17. The Kilcher men make reference to “growing up on a homestead”? What does homestead mean?

18. What is one challenge of living on a homestead (in the wilderness)?

19. How do they compensate for these challenges? 

20. What are three things the Kilchers must do to ensure their survival for the winter?


Day 4-Tlingit Culture

21. The origin of the Tlingit people is not certain. According to the reading, what is the theory for how they arrived in Alaska?

22. How do the Tlingit Indians’ lives revolve around the resources that surround them?

23. What do the Tlingit people believe about the relationship between humans and animals?

There are many stories of transformation in the Tlingit culture. Read the story of the Salmon Boy and answer the questions below.

24. What did the boy do with the piece of dried fish his mother offered him for lunch?

25. What type of fish was the boy transformed into?

26. What was the boy’s punishment that taught him respect for the fish?

Day 5: Totem Poles

Read a story about the creation of the first totem pole here

32. What is a totem pole?

33. What are totem poles carved from?

34. What do the faces on the pole represent?

35. Historians may not know where totem poles come from, but it’s clear what they were for.  According to the reading, how were totem poles like “billboards”?

36. Early on, totem poles were usually misunderstood. Why is the common interpretation of the phrase “low man on the totem pole” wrong?

37. Give the four purposes for which totem poles are generally used.

38. Native Americas believed that each animal had a spirit. These animals were used on totem poles because of their special talents and the stories they told.  Describe the talents/significance of each of the animals listed below.

a. Whale 

b. Hawk

 c. Grizzly Bear

d. Raven

Create Your Own Totem Pole-Homework

Worth 100 points

40. Cole carves the animals he learns from into his totem while he is banished to Ketchikan Island.  The animals become meaningful symbols for Cole.  Create a totem pole that would be meaningful and symbolic to your life.

·       You should have  6 animals on your pole. Use Totem pole rubric. You must write a 3 paragraph essay to explain your totem pole.

·       Use the template to help you “build” your totem. You may use paper towel cardboard rolls to add structure to your totem pole

·       Draw wings or arms for some or all the animals.

·       Decide the colors with which you wish to represent each animal. Then, color your template in vibrantly colored crayons or markers. Note: Native American used colors made from clay and roots. The colors were very striking and vibrant.

·       Alternative decorating ideas: You could also use photos of family members & pets, or cut images of animals that represent you and your family from magazines.

Day 6: Circle Justice

28. In your own words, summarize in one to two paragraphs how Circle Justice works. (use extra paper if needed)

29. In your opinion, is Circle Justice an effective way to deal with offenders (criminals) in any society?

30. What is a community’s role in Circle Justice?

31. There are fundamental differences between American and Native American cultures. Native cultures believe that people must live in harmony with nature, with one another, and with themselves. How does Circle Justice differ from traditional treatment of people who have broken the law?

Day 7: Spirit Bear

41. The Kermode Bear is a “unique subspecies of the American Black Bear.” However, approximately 10 percent of their population has completely white colored fur. What causes this anomaly?

42. Why is the Kermode Bear revered by the local Native American cultures?

43. What is the lifespan and weight of the “Spirit Bear”?

44. What are two major threats to the habitat of the “Spirit Bear”?


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