> Living in Kenai Fjords
Living in Kenai Fjords: Overview
Left to right: Fjord
Ecosystem; Rockwell Kent Journal Sketch; Exit Glacier.
Left to right: Stellar Sea
Lions; Bald Eagle Student Drawing; Black Bear; Rockwell Kent Jr.,
Some students have the good fortune to have
a national park in their backyard. Almost everyone else has access, at least,
to a quiet, natural place or park where they can observe the wonders and beauty
of the natural world and think about the questions that nature provokes. Moose,
bear, Orcas, spruce, hemlock and sea otters inhabit the natural world of
coastal Alaska. What vegetation and animals inhabit your locale? Do you have
spiders? Deer? Redwoods? Oaks? Alligators? How many of these are located near
Kenai Fjords National Park's stunning
beauty was one inspiration for this Website. The park is wild and rugged
country, home to huge whales, playful Orcas, colorful nesting puffins, raucous
sea lions, and blue-tinged glaciers. The other inspiration came from the nature
journals created by 20th century artist, Rockwell Kent.
In the early 1900s, Rockwell Kent and his
nine-year-old son, also named Rockwell, lived on Fox Island, adjacent to what
would one day become Kenai Fjords National Park. In 1918 and 1919, father and
son spent seven months chopping trees for firewood, cooking, skating and
exploring the terrain. They also sketched and painted what they saw on the
island and wrote letters and entries in their journals. Today's students can
learn much from what Rockwell Kent called his "wilderness adventure" and,
hopefully, be inspired to create their own nature adventure.
Whether you live in a big city or near
wilderness we hope you will be able to take your students outside to enjoy the
natural world and, then, come back into the classroom to discuss, illustrate,
and write about your discoveries. This Website's lesson plans and interactive
components are designed to support you and your students in your outdoor
Lessons throughout address and integrate
national standards in Geography, Language Arts and Science.
The Unit is designed for students in grades
3-8. In order to accommodate this broad age range, many activities, handouts,
extensions and challenges are addressed to older or younger students. To meet
younger students' reading abilities, you may read and share background
information or, for older students, have them read "Teacher Background"
material in conjunction with "Student Background" information.
(1) Geography of a place shapes the
life functions and culture of its human inhabitants. (2) Cultural history is
influenced by geography. (3) Kenai Fjords appeals to all of the senses. (4)
People want to preserve scenic and environmental areas for many reasons: to
protect the culture, to preserve the beauty, to learn more about the geography,
geology and history of an area, to protect the area's wildlife and biomes. (5)
People travel to other places for different reasons: to experience the culture,
enjoy the natural beauty, learn more about the area's history, enjoy its
recreational opportunities. (6) A nature journal describes and "preserves" the
wilderness. (7) A personal journal can be a legacy of time and place from a
different point in history.
Activity: Creating a Legacy
Make, record and share observations of the
natural world through a variety of media.
|Final Activity Assessment
ResourcesA listing of
resources used in the student activities and a glossary.
Studies, history, geography, English/language arts