Although the museum is ready to provide lessons, activities, and tours at the museum, most of our instruction is presented within school classrooms. We plan our school visits in a manner that merges with the established curriculum. We are continually showing teachers how we can 'dovetail', or mesh, with lessons and topics at hand.
The photo at the right, for example, was taken during an outdoor 'Mini-Gold Rush' activity that became part of a seventh grade reading lesson. Students learned the process of gold panning as they chose either the simulated 'All-American Route' through Valdez or the 'Chilkoot Trail' to the gold fields of the Klondike.
In another example, a teacher wanting to do a fourth grade math lesson on two-digit by two-digit multiplication asked if there was a way to work in local history. The lesson that resulted was a fun activity utilizing artifacts from Old Town Valdez.
The Museum Education Curator presented a brief history and discussion about the object to students, then posed a problem to solve:
"If this ore crushing ball weighs 18 ounces, what would 13 weigh?"
The students worked the problem, thus learning math and history simultaneously.
Other objects used in this particular lesson included a model of a Spanish sailing ship, an iron, an exercising dumbbell, a fire bucket from Old Valdez, a button hook, a can opener, a cobbler's shoe anvil, an ice gripper for climbing the Valdez Glacier, an old swimsuit, and.......what? Kermit the Frog?
The exciting challenge is to take any subject and "make it fit."