People & Place Curriculum
Hands-on lessons and activities, adaptable for Grades K-6.

Discover the wonder of the world around you with this hands-on curriculum and activity guide! Learn about Alaskan ecosystems and animals, growing and harvesting food, life in the Far North, and so much more, all through integrated lessons that involve reading, writing, science, math, social studies, history, and art.

Subscribe to receive weekly lessons and activity ideas, teaching tips from Calypso educators, and a community of other local learners!


Whether you are a first-time homeschooling family looking for lesson ideas or a teacher looking to help students engage with hands-on learning at home, the lessons in this curriculum are meant to be adapted by you, your family, and your students to meet your specific interests and educational goals. Lessons have been developed with elementary-aged students in mind with the understanding that individual students, regardless of age, may be at many different learning levels in a variety of subjects at once.

The People & Place Curriculum and Activity Guide is meant to be a fun, hands-on introduction to place-based learning for families, students, and educators.

Place-Based Education is learning grounded in one’s local community, context, and natural environment. It acknowledges the interconnectedness of people and the ecosystems we inhabit, and that local contexts and hands-on experiences are a powerful foundation for all learning. In addition to providing exciting lessons in fascinating natural phenomena, this guide also focuses on the importance of community, and in understanding people - our histories, cultures, traditions, and more - as an integral part of place.

Above all, place-based education is about making learning relevant, meaningful, and grounded in nature. This guide is meant to spark interest and inspiration. We hope you take this opportunity to get excited about place-based education and explore and learn about your world!

When you subscribe, you'll receive:

Curriculum Guide
An overview of the topics covered this semester and background information about how to approach these lessons.

Monthly Unit Packets
One each for January through April, with the opportunity to back-order fall lessons from September-December. These contain unit-long project ideas, resource suggestions, and learning standards. Click here to view a sample unit packet!

Weekly Activity Packets
16 weeks of lessons containing write-ups and guides for seasonally appropriate hands-on activities involving reading, writing, science, math, social studies, history, and art. Click here to view a sample weekly activity packet!

Monthly Virtual Sessions (optional)
Meet with Calypso educators via Zoom for a fun show-and-tell opportunity for your students! We have people participating from ALL over Alaska (from Nome to Haines, Homer to Utqiagvik, Fairbanks, Anchorage and places in between!) and this is a unique opportunity for kids across the state to connect and learn with one another.

A fun way to engage in the People & Place curriculum while picking-and-choosing activities that are fun, challenging, and age-appropriate for your students. Students can submit work to Calypso educators to earn fun sticker-badges!


Approach to Learning Standards:

This curriculum guide is meant to be a thematic outline and supplement to other subject and grade-level specific curricula, and therefore adaptable for all elementary-aged learners. Grade-level standards for subjects like math, language arts, and social studies are not included.

Due to the curriculum’s focus on science and ecology, each unit does name and address certain Next Generation Science Standards used by many Alaskan schools, as well as Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools.

While we acknowledge that standards-based learning doesn't work for all learners, we also think that these science standards and Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools are good guidelines to draw inspiration from to help integrate our childerns' education within our ecosystems and communities.

Monthly Units & Weekly Themes:

Fall 2020 Semester

Unit 1: My Ecosystem

Week 1: Berries & Harvest

Week 2: Trees & Forest

Week 3: Weather & Seasons

Week 4: Soil & Water

Unit 2: Preparing for Winter

Week 1: Birds & Migration

Week 2: People & Place

Week 3: Large Animals

Week 4: Small Animals

Unit 3: Snow & Ice

Week 1: Snow Science

Week 2: Winter Survival

Week 3: Glaciers & Ice

Week 4: Changing Climates

Unit 4: My Place in Space

Week 1: Land of Extremes

Week 2: Aurora Borealis

Week 3: Stars & Stories

Spring 2021 Semester

Unit 5: Alaska Studies

Week 1: Geography

Week 2: Geology

Week 3: People & History

Week 4: Alaskan Foods

Unit 6: Natural Cycles

Week 1: Earth & Moon

Week 2: Life Cycles Part 1: Plants

Week 3: Life Cycles Part 2: Animals

Week 4: Carbon Cycle

Unit 7: Winter into Spring

Week 1: Winter Survival Part 2

Week 2: Soil Science

Week 3: Garden Planning

Week 4: Spring in the Forest

Unit 8: Life on the Farm

Week 1: Farm Animals

Week 2: Sheep & Wool

Week 3: All About Honey Bees

Week 4: Starting Seeds

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The People & Place Curriculum is divided into month-long units, which are each then divided into weekly activity guides on various subjects.

The flexible options below are priced per household and are each offered on a pay what you can basis - up to 50% off.* That being said, we do not want the cost to inhibit anyone from subscribing. If you need a larger discount, please contact us directly and we will get you signed up!

Sign up now for lessons starting after the New Year!

Monthly Subscription

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Monthly Subscription

*discounts available up to 50% off

Spring Semester

January - April

One Payment of $350*

Spring Semester

*discounts available up to 50% off

Full School Year
Interested in units from last semester? You can individually add on previously released units from Fall 2020 when you sign up for the Spring Semester!

For Teachers:

The Curriculum & Activity Guide is available to public school teachers on a pay what you can basis, up to 90% off. We just ask that you credit Calypso when using and distributing the content to your students!

Click below to subscribe your class!

Teacher Subscription

*Calypso’s Pay What You Can initiative is designed to support members of our community, including those who have been impacted by COVID-19. The funds available for Pay What You Can discounts are limited and it is our hope that those who need it most will be able to benefit. We ask that if you’re able to pay in full, please do and your extra dollars will support someone who is unable to. We trust you to make the best assessment of need for yourself with the broader community in mind.