P.O. Box 296, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
Phone: (907) 442-4160 Fax: (907) 442-4190

Director: Diane Iglubuq Schaeffer
Email: dvschaeffer@maniilaq.org

Used with permission for educational purposes only.

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Unit 1: Nunaviksiuqtugut - Tundra

Unit 2: Aimmaq - Berry Picking Buckets

Unit 3: Microscope Observations

Unit 4: Leaf Painting

Unit 5: String Painting

Unit 6: Field Trip/Tundra Walk

Unit 7: Object Painting

Unit 8: Aarivak - Insect (Spiders)

Unit 9: Plant Collages



November 11, 1999 Group Picture #1
Winter Group Picture #2

Respect for Nature

Unit 1: Nunaviksiuqtugut


Students will become familiar with the traditional and modern uses of the resources found on the tundra. Through activities and field trips, students will demonstrate an appreciation for thelife that the tundra provides for our local community.


Akuliaq, Taagruk, and Ivik Kunuyaq perform traditional Eskimo dance during weekly visit to senior citizen center.
Putyuglu Qignaklu.



There are many activities that can be used. Listed below are just some of them. Keeping in mind that the tundra provides harvestable fruits and plants for at least a few months, these activities can be adjusted for the type of plants available at the time. Plants that are gathered and preserved would be used during the wintertime as well to remind children of the subsistence routines of the area.


Akuliaq ayahaaq.


Anausuk gets help from Aana Taiyaaq on hands-on project.



  • Making berry-picking buckets for use in plant gathering during field trips (aimmaq)
  • String painting (using berry juices)
  • Leaf painting
  • Microscope center (using local plants, insects, feathers, droppings, etc from tundra)
  • Finger painting (berry juices)
  • Tundra collage
  • Food preparation and sampling (akutuq, jams, tea, fermented sour docks, etc)
  • Stories and examples of medicinal use of plants such as wormwood
  • Using the senses to identify and describe berries and plants
  • Weather observation
  • Availability of foods during various seasons
  • Land formation observation


Iglubuq Kavbin works on an art project.


Language instruction during activities:

These activities provide ample opportunity to use our Native language to describe preschool concepts as well as cultural skills, practices, and family subsistence routines. All of these activities are meant to promote a language-rich environment as well as spark the interest of students and develop other preschool skills.


Unit 2: Aimmaq
Berry Picking Buckets

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Cut paper in straight lines
  • Glue large pieces of paper to containers
  • Thread chenille stem through a hole and twist chenille to fasten (fine motor)
  • Name color of choice for aimmaq
  • Describe the use for the aimmaq
  • Collect plants and put into aimmaq
  • Develop gross motor skills needed to walk on tundra tussocks
  • Use fine motor skills to pinch, grasp and place berries and plants in aimmaq
  • Count plants and berries in aimmaqs


Berry picking with Abnik.



  • Frosting, juice, margarine containers
  • Construction paper
  • Glue (we find that glue in a baby food container with a hole cut in the lid, and a paintbrush work best)
  • Paint brushes (half inch)
  • Markers, crayons, paper cutouts, and other odds and ends for decorating containers
  • Chenille stems
  • Hand-held hole punch
  • String, yarn


Qaayaan v-liuqtuq.


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Name the student’s color choice in Ieupiaq for them Choose color of paper that will be used.
Make templates that fit the type of container you will be using. Cut out the template.
Assist students through out the activity, letting them know what they are doing in Ieupiaq Glue the construction paper onto container.
Using a hole punch, make a hole in the top of the decorated container Decorate the container with paper shapes of plants, and markers
Show students examples of the plants that they will gather, and explain to them that the aimmaq is what we use to keep berries and plants in while we walk across the tundra. Feed chenille stem through holes, and twist to make secure handle
  Gather plants and berries from tundra, and put in container



  • Student product
  • Student use of product


Iglubuq Kavbin performs traditional dance for Elders at the senior citizen center.


Putyuk Nasalik gets help from Aana Taiyaaq preparing food with ulu for monthly potluck.


Unit 3 : Microscope Observations

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • View a specimen through the finder of a microscope
  • Put the specimen on a microscope in focus
  • Describe view in microscope (fuzzy leaf, green, has smaller flower pattern on it, berry has flower on it, color, etc.)
  • For more artistically driven students, paint their findings on a large sheet of paper
  • Describe picture drawn, relating it to the view in the microscope
  • A microfiche machine is also a great specimen viewer for translucent specimens like leaves, fish scales, etc, and more than one person can view at one time with a microfiche machine


Iqagina atikjuk.


Anausuk ikayuqti.



  • Plant, berry and insect specimens gathered from tundra field trips
  • Microscope(s)
  • Slides (use two slides rather than a slide and slip cover as the slip covers are sharp, small, and could be a dangerous object for this age)



Christmas Program 1999
Anausuk, Qaayaan and Iglubuq Kavbin perform during annual Christmas program.
Akuliaq, Ivik Kunuyaq and Panitchiaq give recital.


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Describe plants in Ieupiaq for them as they investigate up close using senses of smell, touch. Help teacher choose the specimens to view.
Mount specimens on slides. Some material will sit nicely on a slide without a cover slide. Others would be easier viewed with a cover slide. Adjust the powers accordingly for students if needed. Assist teacher.
Provide art materials for children to describe their view to others with. We found that a large piece of paper, paint, and paintbrushes work fine, and make nice display work later. Paint their view onto paper.
Help children with descriptions by modeling and acknowledging their descriptions. Ask them to share their findings with parents. Describe some of the memorable features of the plants and insects that they found under the microscope.



  • Student descriptions
  • Student artwork


Uyaana Nauriaqagviliuqtuq.


Putuuqti and Abnik prepare meat for potluck with ulu.


Unit 4 : Leaf Painting

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Identify plants from the tundra
  • Identify parts of a plant (leaf, stem, root)
  • Identify colors of plant
  • Paint using leaves as brushes


Greg takes Salaktuna, Putuguuluk dog mushing, April 2000.
Sliding on hillside after dog mushing.



  • Paint (colors found on the tundra are very appropriate for this activity)
  • Leaves
  • Large paper, regular or finger paint paper
  • Easels or larges tables to work on


Teacher Activity
Student Activity

Review plant names for students.

Identify parts and types of plants gathered from the tundra.

Review parts of a plant for students.


Provide the art materials for students to use for leaf painting, and if needed, an example.

Use the leaves as paint brushes, and paint a picture with various colors.


Kunuyaq coloring.



  • Naming of parts and types of plants.
  • Naming of colors used in picture.
  • Product.


Unit 5 : String Painting

Putyuk Nasalik, Aviubana, Ivik Kunuyaq, Putuuqti and Anausuk at play with water station.


Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Name types of berries
  • Name color of berry juices
  • Use string and berry juices as an art medium



  • Berry juices from tundra plants
  • String or yarn
  • Plain copier paper works best


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Extract berry juices Describe and identify berries.
Provide berry juices, and paper for students. Describe the various berries, their colors with students.  
Show students how to make the pictures with the string. Fold paper in half, lay dipped string on folded paper leaving a tail on the outside. Pull string keeping paper folded shut. Open paper. Follow teacher’s example and directions for making string art.



  • Art product
  • Identify berries used in project
  • Identify color of juices


Siitchiaq minuutiruq.


Taagruk kanayuuraqliuqtuq.


Unit 6 : Field Trip
Tundra Walk


Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Tolerate textures and the feeling of strange plants and walking surfaces
  • Learn to take risks
  • Follow instructions as part of a group
  • Develop gross motor skills as students walk across and around the uneven and spongy surfaces of the tundra
  • Identify the safest and easiest places to cross the tundra
  • Identify plants found on tundra
  • Identify good and bad tasting berries
  • Use senses to describe and identify tundra plants (tea, berries, wormwood, sourdocks, wild celery, etc)
  • Develop fine motor skills while picking berries and leaves of harvestable plants
  • Identify the colors of the tundra
  • Differentiate between ripe and ready plants and those that are not yet ripe or ready for harvest
  • Collect berries and leaves to take back to eat, or use in classroom activities
  • Identify ripe and ready plants available at that particular time in the season



  • Boots and other appropriate field trip clothing (hats, warm jackets, gloves if needed, etc)
  • Berry picking buckets that students made
  • Ziploc or other plastic storage bags
  • Enough adult chaperones (parents, staff) to keep children encouraged and occupied with their findings


Frances and son Nuviya hooking.



As students explore and gather, explain to students what they are finding, what they can pick, and how to find them on the tundra.


Putyuk jigging.


Unit 7 : Object Painting

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Use cookie cutters to make pictures
  • Identify different berries used in the process
  • Follow directions in the process of project


  • Berry juices
  • Paper towel sheets, or facial tissue folded into fourths
  • Small paper plates or saucers
  • Cookie cutters (varied sizes and shapes)
  • Large sheets of paper


Kunuyaq nauriaqliuqtuq.


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Extract berry juices Describe and identify berries.
Before starting, instruct students to make ready by donning their paint smocks, and rolling up their sleeves. Follow teacher directions.
Provide berry juice stamp pads by pouring juice onto a folded paper towel that is sitting on a saucer or small paper plate. This makes a good and inexpensive stamping surface.  
Provide cookie cutters, and paper for students.  
Describe the various berries, their colors with students. Also help students name the objects on the cookie cutters, their colors, and their respective sizes. Use Ieupiaq to name to objects they would like to press into the paper. Make the imprints on paper.



  • Ability to follow directions
  • Student product
  • Description of objects and plants used in process


Agnik munuutiruq.


Unit 8 : Aarivak
Insect (Spiders)

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Name insects found on tundra
  • Sing Aarivak Mayuqtuq song
  • Paint an object
  • Thread a chenille stem through a hole
  • Describe patterns


Aviugana killaiyaqtuq.



  • Insect samples found with the plants from the tundra walk
  • Example product
  • Egg cartons, with each compartment separated
  • Black tempra paint
  • ˝ inch paint brushes
  • Hand held hole punch
  • Black chenille stems
  • Glue
  • Small plastic eyes
  • String for hanging


Qignak, expert jigger.


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Allow students to look at the insects carefully. Explain respect for animals, and ask them to treat them nicely while examining. If appropriate, allow microscope viewing as well. Describe and identify insects
Sing "Aarivak Mayuqtuq" song with students, teaching motions along with the song. Sing along and use arm motions "Aarivak Mayuqtuq"
Show students sample aarivak and help them to describe color and parts. Assist students with painting the egg carton section inside and out, inserting the chenille stems for legs, and gluing the eyes on the aarivak. Tie a string on for hanging. When hangning, make a pattern for students to notice and describe, (long, short, long, short, or other pattern). Create aarivak following example and directions of teacher



  • Aarivak product
  • Description of pattern and ability to describe/create a new one elsewhere in class with other objects


Ivik Kunuyaq on a field trip, manaktuq (fishing for tom cods).


Unit 9 : Plant Collages

Objectives: The student will be able to…

  • Identify plant patterns found in nature
  • Create plant patterns and pictures
  • Glue small parts of plants to a paper
  • Sort according to type of plant


Qaulluq gets help from his Aana Abnik before clean up time.


Akuliaq scraping skin with ikuun.



  • Plant samples that have stems, leaves, berries still intact for blueberry, salmonberry, black berry, and cranberry plants
  • Construction paper-berries, leaves following the shape of plants gathered from samples, and/or tempra paint for berries
  • Plant outlines of stems, enough copies for one for each students


Teacher Activity
Student Activity
Ask students to examine the plant samples and identify their differences. Lead them to examine the patterns on the leaves, the stems, and the density of the berries on each plant. Describe and identify berries and their plant parts.
Provide students with stem structures for blue berry plants. Using precut construction paper pieces, have them create a collage resembling the sample. If using paint for berries, have them paint berries on. Glue plant parts onto stem structures paying attention to the pattern of leaves on the stems, and the berries on the plants.
Do the same for each type of plant. (This activity may take more than one day).  



  • Combine different construction paper berries and leaves in one paper plate, and ask students to separate the parts onto their respective plant groups.
  • Plant collage product



Taagruk, Qaluraq, Akuliaq, Aviubana, and Ivik Kunuyaq practice traditional singing and drumming.


Putuuqti, Uyaana, Taagruk, and Akuliaq perform an Eskimo dance.


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