On two separate occasions, Grade 2 students had the privilege of welcoming the parents of their classmates to school to talk about their respective experiences in Alaska. These visits contributed deeply to students’ understanding of the essential question of the current social studies unit of study: How are communities and cultures shaped and impacted by the natural resources, climate, and region available to them? Students are taught to think regionally about cultures and consider geographical influences, comparing and contrasting how people live depending on their surroundings.
One of the nations on which Grade 2 students focus during their study of Northwest Coastal American Indians is the Tlingit, who traditionally hail from Alaska. Grade 2 parent Laura E. grew up in Alaska and has Tlingit heritage. She visited Grade 2 before Spring Break and talked about her heritage, shared objects and stories from her childhood in Alaska, and answered students’ questions about traditional indigenous practices.
Students are also learning about the importance of salmon as a natural resource in Northwest Coast culture. After Spring Break, Grade 2 parent Adam B. visited students to discuss his time working as a salmon fisherman in Alaska, shared stories, and answered students’ questions.
We are so grateful to these parents for sharing their stories, time, and expertise with us!