Viking Mystery

Ice Cores

Inuit Culture



In this lesson, students will learn about the Inuit and their culture. Students will view photographs, read dispatches, listen to sample Inuit phrases, and read the work of three Inuit writers describing their culture. Based on the information they gather, students will create a radio broadcast interview. If you do not have access to a tape recorder, students can conduct their radio interviews 'live' in front of the class. The goal of this activity is for students to synthesize information from a variety of sources while creating an interview that captures important elements of the Inuit culture. Designed as a Language Arts lesson for students in grades 6-8.


  1. Ask students to create a class KWLH chart on the topic of Inuits. You might have to explain that in the past Inuits were often referred to as Eskimos. In the "K" section of the chart, students will list things that they KNOW about Inuits. In the "W" section of the chart, students will list things they WANT to know about Inuits, and in the "L" section of the chart, students will list what they have LEARNED about Inuits. In the "H" section of the chart, students will verify HOW or where they learned the information. Display the chart in the room and have students add new information to the chart as they learn about the Inuit.

  2. Share the photographs of Tasiilaq, the largest town in eastern Greenland and Dan Grossman's Tasilaq-Greenland Village dispatch with your students.

  3. Divide the class into pairs and explain to the students that they are going to work in groups to research the Inuits. After they have gathered information, they will create a radio interview with an Inuit person of their own creation based on the material from their reading. Tell students to record information that interests them as they read about the Inuit culture, making sure to write down the source of the information. Students will use this information to create a series of interview questions and answers for a radio interview that will capture the essence and uniqueness of the Inuit people. The interview should contain a brief introduction of the person, including information such as name, age, gender, where they live, and so on to form a series of 10 or more questions and answers. Encourage students to use a variety of resources for this project.

    The following is a good place for students to begin their research:

    All Things Considered host Noah Adams talks with Gretel Ehrlich about the seven seasons she spent in Greenland as detailed in her book This Cold Heaven.

    The movie Fast Runner deals with traditions of the Inuit people of northern Canada. Howie Movshovitz of Colorado Public Radio tells the story.

    While Inuit parents in North America were moved from igloos to houses in the 1950s, their children were assimilated into the Canadian education system. The Canadian Broadcast Company details their history.

  4. After students have finished writing their interview questions, have them conduct a radio interview with their partner and record the interview on tape. One student will play the role of the reporter and the other student will play the role of the Inuit guest. Explain to students that they don't have to read the questions and answers word for word and should instead try to give the interview a conversational quality.

  5. Return to the class KWLH chart to review all of the information you have learned about the Inuits during this assignment. Provide time for students to listen to the other groups' tapes.


 • Standard 2, Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing, Level III Grade: 6-8
 • Standard 7, Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts, Level III Grade: 6-8
 • Standard 8, Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes, Level III Grade: 6-8

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