In-School Culture/Health Classes for Elementary School (ES) and Middle School (MS)

  1. Teaching Elementary School Students using sled dogs by Mari Hoe-Raitto (Salcha)

Teaching young students about sled dogs is a great way to learn about caring and learning responsibilities in life. Sled dogs can teach us so much, from every aspect like husbandry, feeding and nutrition, nursing and injuries, managing and being a leader, learning to do practical projects, social work and psychology, being motivated, loving and caring, showing empathy and just having them as your best friends. Dogs give unconditional love. Students learn about great teamwork, and not to mention sportsmanship and great social skills. Sled dogs can teach us so many life lessons!

~Example lesson plans

    2. Teaching Middle School Students using sled dogsby Sam Barney (Huslia)

Students had experience with and participated in lessons related to: veterinary care of sled dogs; assisting in giving shots; giving an I.V.; feeding and general care; anatomy of race dogs; details of training and importance of keeping good records; time keeping and the physics behind dog sleds. The students helped build a dog sled and repaired several others. They learned how to tie various knots, went snowshoeing and learned the science behind weight distribution over an area. The students learned the history of dog mushing, and the history of Huslia. They read, discussed, and wrote about the native stories specific to Huslia. They were taught by elders how to live a healthy life, how to show respect, and to be proud of their native heritage. They gave service to elders in the community. The students wrote dozens of “thank you” letters to sponsors, and journal entries about their participation in the program.

~ Example lesson plans (TO BE ADDED)

  3.   A Sled Dog Camp week including elementary student sled dog race

After the FAYSPD was a part of the curriculum in both MS and HS, it was natural for ES students to ask about the sled dogs classes. In April when MS and HS students had their annual spring culture class camping trip down-river, students who were unable to attend culture class were recruited to mentor younger students at an in-village Sled Dog Camp. In the past these students were disheartened at being left behind. The idea for these MS/HS students to mentor youngsters came naturally. By being given mentorship responsibilities in this alternate program, the students left behind flourished. The community organized a list of adult volunteers and the school provided the names elementary students anxious to participate in the Sled Dog Camp. The culminating event of the camp was to have a elementary student sled dog race organized by the MS/HS students. The entire community participated in the event.

~Example of In-Village sled dog camp schedule

   4. REFERENCES for ES and MS teachers