The Inuit: A Complete Unit Study
- Monday, March 10, 2008
Like anyone, Inuit enjoy games. One game they like is called blanket toss. Several people hold a large blanket made of seal and caribou skins. One person bounces in the middle of the blanket, similar to a trampoline. The person jumping can sometimes jump more than 23 feet into the air. Another game they play is called Nuglugaqtug Left. In this game the players try to poke a pointed stick through a bone hanging from the ceiling. The first player to do so wins.
Travel in snow-covered land isn’t always easy. Dogsleds are the fastest and most reliable way to travel over snow. Inuit and many people living in the Arctic Circle still use dogsleds everyday, even when there are snowmobiles and other vehicles available. If they want to travel on the water, these resourceful people build kayaks out of seal or walrus skins. Kayaks are one of the most highly maneuverable small crafts constructed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the Inuit and their way of life; I know I did. Let’s use some of our new knowledge in the activities below.
• Inuit used math when they built their igloos. Igloos are made of blocks of ice and are dome-shaped. Geometry comes in handy here: volume, scale and surface area are some mathematical skills you might want to be familiar with before building your own igloo. Try it yourself. Visit the Web site below for step by step instructions on building your own igloo and see if you use math: www.benmeadows.com/refinfo/ Tips/Article1.htm
• If you’d rather stay indoors where it is nice and warm, you can build your own igloo using sugar cubes, glue, cardboard, and a ruler. The igloo should fit on the piece of cardboard and should be rounded and able to stand on its own. (Parents can visit this site for help: www.youthonline.ca/crafts/ sugarcubeigloo.shtml)
• Did you know that the world’s most famous dogsled race is called the Iditarod? It covers over 1,150 miles of Alaska’s beautiful land. Draw a map covering the route and mark the elevation of each town you pass through. How many miles could a person travel in one day? How many days would it take to finish the race?
Make ice cream with this authentic recipe taken from a 1952 Eskimo cookbook:
Inuit Ice Cream
1. Grate reindeer tallow into small pieces.
2. Add seal oil slowly while beating with hand.
3. After some seal oil has been used, add a little water while whipping.
4. Continue adding seal oil and water until white and fluffy.
5. Any berries may be added to it.
If you’d rather try a different version, here is one of my favorites:
2 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
1T. vanilla extract
1 gallon snow (make sure it’s white!)
Mix the milk, sugar and vanilla extract together until sugar is dissolved. Add the snow and stir. Enjoy!
• Copy the following passage into a notebook: And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to d and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1-9)
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