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Dig AfognakNative Village of Afognak petroglyph
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A Driftwood Story
Driftwood Journey Curriculum

Lesson Summary
Objective: To give students the enjoyment of reading, while making a connection to Afognak Village, their culture, their history and the environment, as well as exposing them to the Alutiiq language. The story is the springboard for the unit.


  • Students will practice reading and listening.
  • Students will have an opportunity to make associations between the story and their lives.
  • Students will learn about their ancestors.
  • Students will learn about their ancestors’ culture.
  • Students will learn how the environment affects their lives.
  • Students will learn Alutiiq vocabulary.

Materials needed: Copies of “Red Cedar of Afognak” for each student. Order Books

People to be included: Author or other distinguished reader.


Gear up: Tell students about J.P. Pestrikoff and the stories he told. Tell them he is very old and he remembers a lot about life on Afognak Island, including the giant red cedar log.

Explore: Read “Red Cedar of Afognak” to the students. When done, distribute copies to the students so they have their own. Ask for volunteers to read the story again, while the others follow along. At the beginning of each chapter, ask students to look at the vocabulary words and ask if they have ever heard those Alutiiq words. Model pronunciation for them.

When students finish reading the story, ask if they have any questions about the pictures or the story. Ask them what was their favorite part of the story, or what they remember best from the story. Answer their questions, if any.

Generalize: Tell them they will be doing all sorts of fun activities that will help them learn about Afognak Island, its people and the environment around it. Tell them these things will also help them learn about their own home on Kodiak and about their families.

Activity #2: Ask students to think about the story and to think about what image comes into their minds when they think about it. Pass out drawing paper, and tell students to draw the image they are thinking about. When they are finished with the drawing, ask them to write a couple of sentences about why they selected that image.

Lesson Outline:
    1. A Driftwood Story
    2. Properties of Wood
    3. Cultural Uses of Wood – Past and Present
    4. Tides – Gravitational Pull of the Moon
    5. Wind, Tides and Currents
    6. Earthquakes and Tsunamis
    7. Afognak and the 1964 Tsunami
        (Camp version, classroom version)
    8. Celebration of Trees
        •  Driftwood Art
        •  Driftwood Stories and Poems
    9. Celebrating Alutiiq Customs and Traditions

    Appendix: Resources Used


Driftwood Lessons