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Module 1 • Arctic Exploration: Traveling on the Land
Activity 1-4I
Traveling on the land, Team GoNorth! uses the latest technologies Assessment:
and the traditional ways of navigating. Once a bearing is taken with
Upon completion of this
a compass and GPS, the bearing is kept by observing the sun, wind
activity students should:
(while remembering winds can shift!), drifts (formed by prevailing
- Understand the principles
winds), and landmarks. The Polar Husky lead dog even uses the wind
of running a dog team.
and drifts to keep at a relatively straight line. This is why a lead dog
- Participate in a brain-
can become very confused if the wind changes in the middle of the
day—after hours of running with the wind hitting their body at a
storming session on
certain angle! Most of the team’s travel techniques are learned from
navigation methods.
the Native Arctic peoples. Traveling by dog team is the traditional
- Image the night sky at
mode of transportation in the winter. Even the sleds used by Team
their location (Student
GoNorth! are a product of traditional knowledge.
Page 1-4 “Sky Maps.”)
- Share their work with
The type of sled and method of hitching the team to it depend on
students worldwide in
the nature of the landscape and terrain. Is it above or below the tree
Collaboration Zone 01
line? Is there deep snow (trees and protected areas) or is it a packed
at PolarHusky.com
hard by the fierce winds of open spaces? See Teacher Notes 1-4a
“Sleds & Dogs” for more detailed information.
Procedure:
1. Meet the dogs! As a class, watch the Polar Husky movie, “Team Work,” available under Classics in
the Scrap Book section in Expedition at PolarHusky.com.
2. Ask the students why they think Team GoNorth! is traveling by dog team. Talk about the fact that
this is a traditional way of traveling in the winter for the people living in this area (another is a
sled being pulled by reindeer), and that much of what the team members on the expedition know
about how to travel in the Arctic is learned from the people living in the Arctic. As a class, set up
two Polar Husky dog teams, where the students are the dogs. Use Teacher Notes 1-4a “Sleds &
Dogs” as your guide. Practice saying the Native commands for right (gee), left (chaw), and stop
(whoa).
3. Explain to the students that the team is not traveling on roads, but across the land, and that there
are no street signs (except for a few when the team is in a community). Share with the students
that one way both the dogs and team members find their way when on the expedition is by look-
ing for and following landmarks that they see on the map. Relate how the students themselves,
when traveling to a place around town or even just around the school, navigate using landmarks
that tell them they are going in the right direction.
4. Briefly brainstorm with students about other possible ways the team might navigate, and make
sure it is emphasized that Team GoNorth! also uses the sun, the wind, and the snowdrifts made by
the wind.
Project or pass out Teacher Notes 1-4b “Native Compass.” Using the illustrations of traditional
knowledge of direction based on the sun and prevailing winds, reflect with students on how this
is a different kind of compass. Conclude with the information that Team GoNorth! studies this
knowledge and learns from the locals while they are on the expedition to find their way across
the land.
5. Share with students that stars—especially in the Arctic and Chukotka, the North Star—can be used
for navigation too. Explain to students that this is very important because the people living in
Chukotka have to travel a lot in the dark in the wintertime because they have long periods of
constant darkness where the sun never rises above the horizon.
PolarHusky.com
© NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions GoNorth! Chukotka 2007 Curriculum 18
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