Long, hard winters filled with the need to trap animals in order to survive or build a home with natural resources that are available are a couple of the realities that our Alaskan forefathers have had to face. Students may appreciate learning about the past from someone who endured and overcame difficult circumstances. Present some Alaska pioneer memoirs to your history students to inform them about what people in the past had to endure.
The Past Had A Bearing On Today
An individual who came up with a distinct trapping method or who discovered a freshwater source that others eventually had access to could have dramatically shaped the world in which people live in today. Look for memoirs that were written by people who are notorious for their contributions. Excerpts from each volume can be shared with your class and you can coordinate the readings with homework assignments, classwork, or projects that are to be presented to the classroom as a whole.
Ask your students to identify the conflict in a situation and the manner in which a pioneer overcame a specific issue. Emphasize the fact that the individual did not have modern technology or human assistance to deal with adversity. This type of revelation will inform your pupils that they have the power to face a set of problems, without necessarily needing to rely upon outside help.
Life Wasn't Always Bad
Some pioneers may have dealt with harsh conditions, but this did not necessarily dictate how their lives were led. There were numerous happy occasions, which have been elaborated upon in some books. People may have appreciated their victories and found solace in the fact that they had plenty of food to eat or a roof over their heads. Some pioneers went on to have families, which encouraged them to anchor themselves in the areas that they explored when they were younger.
People who overcome a problem or discover that they are self-sufficient may be grateful for the little bit that they do have and they may realize that things could have been much worse. After identifying various situations that symbolize an author's happiness, ask your students to think about their own lives and moments in which they were having a difficult time, but later realized that things were not as bad as they initially thought. These parallels will help your students relate to the authors of some of the memoirs.