Curriculum: Quick Activities

These short lessons cover a variety of STEAM-related concepts. They can be used as a warm-up activity to a larger lesson or unit, or as stand-alone mini-lessons.

Category Lesson Name
Topic & Focus
Science Observation—Using
5 Senses
Observation This quick lesson encourages students to learn to make observations with all the senses (not just their eyes).
Science Carbon Cycle Game Carbon Cycle This is a quick, kinetic lesson where students become carbon molecules and move about the room to illustrate how the carbon cycle works.  This mini-lesson is based on a game by the Royal Chemistry Society.
Science What is the Scientific
Scientific Method This short lesson helps students solidify the steps of the scientific method. It can be used as a warm-up to a larger science lesson, or as stand-alone mini-lesson.
Science What's in a
Place Names An introductory lesson to the importance of place names. This generic lesson could be used as an opener to a larger activity (e.g., a walk on the land with an Elder, culture camp). The lesson requires that the teacher either already know some place names, or learn from an Elder or culture-bearer before teaching the lesson. 
Science Adaptations of Arctic
An introduction to linking arctic conditions and the specific adaptations of plants to this environment. Focus on details of arctic conditions and having students generate ideas and use creative and critical thinking. Lesson can be modified for different age/grade levels.
Science Arctic Wildflower
Specific focus on the abiotic factors/ challenges of the arctic and wildflower adaptations. Uses observation as the method for exploring adaptations. Lesson has MANY ways to extend with multiple different resources.  Option to include Native language and identification.
Science What is life? Characteristics of
An introductory lesson to the characteristics of life. Depth can be modified for grade level. A good starting point for deeper investigations. Also a good starting point for looking at differences and overlap of Indigenous Knowing and Western Science.
Science Keystone Species Keystone Species A demonstration for what is a Keystone species. It involves a tower of blocks that tumbles when a bottom block is pulled out.  Students will think about the ways other species are dependent on a keystone species. Many extension options.
Science Dissolved Oxygen
in Water
Dissolved oxygen An experiment activity to increase the level of Dissolved Oxygen in a water sample. Can be used as in intro activity to more in-depth study on DO or introducing the importance of using the same method when comparing data. 
Science Is This Water Clean?  Water quality An activity that introduces the idea that there are things in water we can't see. Challenges our assumptions about what we see. Good introduction to the study of water quality.
Science Practical Uses of
Plant use An introduction to the idea of practical uses of common plants of the area with an activity outside of class time to interview an Elder and extensions to create a presentation of some kind. 
Science Surface Tension Surface Tension This quick demonstration uses black pepper, water, and dish soap, to show how surface tension works.
Science Light Refraction Light Refraction In this lesson, students watch and learn how to do a "magic trick" to demonstrate light refraction.
Science How does
the Water
Cycle Work?
Water Cycle A quick lesson that demonstrates the water cycle using a zip-lock baggie, and a window that receives a lot of sun.
Science Classifying Classification This lesson allows students to practicing the important scientific skill of classifying. Using a variety of simple objects (e.g., crayons, cotton balls, buttons), students learn that different "scientists" group things differently. Lesson can easily be used as an introduction to a larger lesson, or as a stand alone activity.
Science Communicating Science Communicating
In this activity, students play several rounds of the game "telephone" to illustrate how and why science communication is important. Students devise different methods to make the communication more accurate with each round.
Science Making Inferences Inferring In this activity, students play a game similar to Headbandz to ask questions and make inferences about a picture on their backs. Students begin to articulate their thinking to describe how they came to their answers.
Science Predicting Predicting In this brief activity, students feel an item that is hidden in a jar. Based on what they feel (size, shape, texture, etc.), they practice predicting what the item is. The activity could be extended to include items from the outdoors around the school—students might have the opportunity to use other senses (like smell) to help make their predictions. 
Technology Centrifugal force
in Action
Technology Lesson looks at concept of centrifugal force and how it is used in a modern day machine. The big picture is considering how technological advances are based in science and engineering concepts and how they can improve people's lives. 
Technology Fish Wheels Extension In this lesson students think about the fish wheel in terms of it's effect on Time, Efficiency and Quality in fishing. They apply this thinking to other machines and technology. 
Engineering Engineering Paper
Paper Airplanes In this activity, students design and build two different paper airplanes and determine which flies the farthest and which stays aloft the longest. Students identify different design elements to begin predicting what properties affect the design quality.
Engineering Gill Net Engineering   In this lesson students will think through the steps of designing a gill net for a specific size fish. This has the option to add building their design. 
Arts Introductions Introductions This lesson illustrates different expectations of how to politely introduce oneself. It could be used for older students who may be preparing for job interviews outside of the community. It could also be used simply to illustrate cultural differences and expectations. 
Arts What Does it Mean to Show Respect? How to be
Illustrate how to be respectful. What this means/ how it's different IK vs WS (IK = show deep respect to Elders)
Arts Andrew Goldsworthy  Art form This lesson uses Andrew Goldsworthy's temporary nature art as a starting point to create their own art and to identify art made from natural materials in student's culture. It is an introductory lesson with many extensions into traditional art techniques, Art as a cultural bridge, leaving no trace in wilderness or various art movements. 
Arts Salmon Life
Cycle Mobiles
Art In this lesson, students create a mobile that depicts each stage of the salmon life cycle (eggs, alevin, fry, smolts, adults, spawners). The lesson can be extended to focus more what each stage looks like, how long it lasts (which differs depending on species), etc. 
Math Measurement—Length Measuring/Length Students do a kinetic activity (jumping) and practice taking length measurements to determine who jumped the farthest. The lesson can be adapted to younger or older students by varying the measurement technique or using relative terms.
Math Measurement—Weight Measuring/Weight Students make a homemade scale and practice determining which objects weigh the most or least.
Math Measurement:
PPM as a Ratio
ppm as a ratio
A quick demo to introduce measurement of ppm as a ratio for concentration of substances in water or air.
Math Only the Strong Survive Subtraction
A math word problem using fish eggs as the content.  Students are subtracting three and four digit numbers. Option to include finding percentages. Extension to include Indigenous Children's Books and salmon stories. - Note: This mini lesson is a worksheet from Alaska's museum of science - clearly indicated on the sheet. Taken from the Fish and Fisheries curriculum. 
Math Fractals   This lesson has students finding repetitive patterns in natural objects. A good introduction to fractals or can be a jumping off point for more complex topics like coastal erosion. Includes links to full fractal unit.