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!


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

Whether you are a seasoned homeschool group looking for new, hands-on lesson ideas or a family diving into at-home learning for the first time, 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.

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. The Curriculum is divided into two semesters: fall and spring.

Seasonal Monthly Units
Each semester contains four monthly units. These contain unit-long project ideas, resource suggestions, and learning standards. Click here to view a sample unit packet!

Weekly Activity Packets
Weekly lessons include 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!

Discounts for Bonus Units
We occasionally offer stand-alone units on special topics. As a Curriculum subscriber, you will receive a discount if you choose to purchase it!

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 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 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

Subscribe Today!

The People & Place Curriculum is divided into month-long units, which are each then divided into weekly activity guides on various subjects. You can follow them as they are written or go at your own pace!

When you sign up, you will receive a digital copy of the entire curriculum for the semester(s) you choose, as well as the option to add-on a physical paper copy.

Subscriptions are priced per household and are offered on a pay what you can basis - up to 50% off.*

Sign up now for lessons starting this Fall!

Single Semester Subscription

Choose between the Fall and Spring semesters


*discounts available up to 50% off

Full School Year Subscription
Receive both the Fall and Spring semesters


*discounts available up to 50% off


For Homeschool Families: To sign up using your homeschool allotment, you have two options:

1.) Pay out-of-pocket and then submit your receipt to your homeschool for reimbursement.

2.) If Calypso is a vendor with your homeschool, you can sign up with no up-front cost today and have your homeschool pay us directly. Calypso is a current vendor with IDEA, BEST, FOCUS, Raven, and CyberLynx Homeschools.

Follow the prompts on the registration page to guide you through the process, no matter which option you choose!

*Calypso’s Pay What You Can initiative is designed to support our friends and neighbors in need. 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 you keep the broader community in mind and if you’re able to pay in full, please do - your extra dollars will support someone who is unable to.
Looking for hands-on activities to do at home but not an entire curriculum? Try our stand-alone unit on Alaska's Oceans below or join the Calypso Explorer’s Club, a fun, hands-on activity kit subscription perfect for outdoor learning as a family!


Add-on Unit: Alaska's Oceans


If you’re a current People & Place subscriber, this unit can be incorporated into the curriculum you’re already using. If you’re not a subscriber yet, it can be used as a test-run to see if the People & Place Curriculum would be a good fit for your family!

What’s Included:

4 weeks of lessons, guides & hands-on activities involving reading, writing, science, math, social studies, history, and art.

Weekly themes include Life in the Ocean, Tide Pools, Seabirds, and Pacific Salmon. You'll also receive unit-long project ideas, learning standards & resource suggestions for further learning including books, movies and websites!

*discounts available up to 50% off