When I think of Alaska, darkness and cold are what come to mind first. While I know that it is a beautiful state, that is what naturally comes to my mind. While it can be dark and very cold in Alaska, this Alaska State Study will teach your kids all about its history, state facts and much more!
Learning about the country we live in is an important part of your children’s education. While you may not be able to visit all 50 states in the U.S. You can still ensure your children learn about the important role each state plays in our country.
This Alaska State Study was designed to make learning about ‘The Last Frontier’, both fun and educational. I’ve included videos, articles, literature options, state facts, famous landmarks and more to provide thorough learning opportunities for your children.
Alaska State Study
History of the State of Alaska
Alaska State History Timeline
History of National Forests in Alaska
Alaska Literature and Research Resources
All About Alaska
Year Alaska Became a State
January 3, 1959
663,268 square miles
State Name Origin
The name ‘Alaska’ came from the native Aleut word, ‘Alaxsxaq’ (or Alyeska) which has been translated as “mainland” or “great land”, but the literal meaning of the word is: “Object to which the action of the sea is directed” or “That which breaks against the shore”.
The Alaska state motto is, “North to the Future”. It was chosen during the Alaska Purchase Centennial in 1967 and was created by Richard Peter. The motto represents Alaska as a land of promise for the future.
The Last Frontier
Alaska was the 49th state to be admitted to the US. Due.to its rugged terrain, harsh climate, its great expanse, and the distance from the rest of the states, it was nicknamed, “The Last Frontier”.
The song “Alaska’s Flag” was written by Marie Drake and chosen as the state song in 1955.
The blue background represents the blue sky and the state flower, forget-me-nots. The north star represents Alaska as the most northern state and the dipper (or Great Bear) represents great strength. It was adopted as the state flag on May 2nd, 1927, and was designed by Benny Benson.
The Willow Ptarmigan was chosen as the state bird in 1960 when Alaska became the 49th state. He changes color from light brown to snowy white in the winter.
The Sitka spruce, an evergreen tree that grows in central and southeastern Alaska was chosen as Alaska’s state tree in 1962.
The largest-ever world record for a Chinook Salmon was caught in Alaskan waters, so it makes sense that it should also be adopted as the state fish.
On May 1, 1998, the Moose was chosen as the state animal of Alaska.
The four-spotted chaser dragonfly was designated Alaska’s state insect in 1995.
State Marine Mammal
In 1983, the bowhead whale was chosen as the Alaska state marine mammal.
The Wooly Mammoth was chosen as the Alaska state fossil in 1986.
Forget-me-nots (scorpion grasses) are found all over Alaska and were chosen as the state flower in 1917.
- Major Cities
- Eagle River
- Colville River
- Copper River
- Kuskokwim River
- Noatak River
- Porcupine River
- Susitna River
- Tanana River
- Yukon River
- Tanaina Lake
- Badger Lake
- Liamna Lake
- Becharof Lake
- Teshekpuk Lake
- Naknek Lake
- Tustemena Lake
- AK- 1 from Homer northeast and east to Tok by way of Anchorage
- AK 2 from Manley Hot Springs to the International Border, passing through Fairbanks and Delta Junction
- AK- 3 (Parks Hwy) from the Glenn Highway to the north of Anchorage to Fairbanks in the Alaska Interior
- AK- 4 (Richardson Hwy) connecting Valdez to Fairbanks
- AK- 5 (Taylor Hwy) from Tetlin Junction to Eagle
- AK- 6 (Steese Hwy) from Fairbanks to Circle,
- AK- 7 serves areas of the panhandle
- AK- 8 (Denali Hwy) from Paxson on the Richardson Highway to Cantwell on the Parks Highway
- AK- 9 (Seward Hwy) from Seward to Anchorage
- AK- 10 (Copper River Hwy), Edgerton Hwy)
- AK- 11 (Dalton Hwy) north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse
- AK- 98 (Klondike Hwy) from the Alaska Panhandle through the province of British Columbia and the territory of Yukon in Canada
- Denali National Park and Preserve
- Katmai National Park and Preserve
- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve
- Lake Clarke National Park and Preserve
- Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
- Kobuk Valley National Park
- Chugach State Park
- Denali State Park
- Wood Tikchick State Park
- Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park
- Shoup Bay State Marine Park
- Chilkat State Park
- Captain Cook State Recreation Area
- Big Lake South State Recreation Site
- Chena River State Recreation Area
- Big Delta State Historical Park
- Old Sikta State Historic Park
- Point Bridget State Park
- Eagle Beach State Recreation Area
- Settlers Cove State Recreation Site
- Fort Durham
- Sitka Spruce Park
- Crow Creek Historic Gold Mine
- Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall
- Kake Cannery
- Alaska Native Heritage Center
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
- Totem Bight State Historical Park
- Oscar Anderson House Museum
- Creek Street in Ketchikan
- Russian Bishop’s House
- James Doolittle spent his youth in Nome, Alaska. He was a WW2 recipient of the Medal of Honor for leading a group called, “The Doolittle Raiders”, on a mission to bomb Japan after Pearl Harbor.
- Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia moved with his family to Anchorage, AK when he was seven and grew up there. He later left Wikipedia and became quite critical of the online encyclopedia’s accuracy saying that it is politically biased.
- Walter Harper, an Alaskan native, was born in Alaska in 1893. He and his wife were two of the passengers aboard the Princess Sofia when it hit a reef during a snowstorm and sunk, killing all 343 passengers on board.
- Jewel Kilcher was born May 23, 1974, in Utah, but her family moved shortly after she was born to her father’s hometown in Anchorage, AK. She grew up in Alaska singing and yodeling with her father.
- Wyatt Earp was not born in Alaska, but he did build Dexter’s Saloon in Nome, AK and served on Nome’s first city council. He also served as the town marshal in Wrangell for 12 days.
- Curt Schilling was born on November 14, 1966, in Anchorage, AK. He is one of the best post-season baseball pitchers in history. He won 85% of his games and holds a record of 11-2.
- Archie Van Winkle was born in Juneau on March 17, 1925. He served as a Marine in three different wars: World War II, The Korean War and the Vietnam War earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and three Purple Hearts! After retirement, he returned to Alaska to Bar Harbor in Ketchikan where he lived on a boat until his death in 1986.
- James Morrison (the actor) was raised in Anchorage, AK and actually began his acting career there.
- Carlos Boozer was born on a military base in Germany but was raised in Juneau, AK where he began playing basketball in school. He went on to play basketball professionally in the NBA playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers.
- Mario Chalmers was born in Anchorage, AK on May 19, 1986, and grew up playing basketball. He led his school to two state championships and later went on to play both college and professional NBA basketball. He played for 7 seasons with Miami Heat, 2 seasons with Memphis Grizzlies and currently plays with AEK Athens
- Mark Schlereth was born in Anchorage, AK on January 25, 1966. He played football in school and college but didn’t receive much attention. However, he was eventually drafted into the NFL where he played 6 seasons with the Washington Redskins and 6 seasons with the Denver Broncos. After retirement, he went on to work as an analyst for ESPN on NFL Live and SportsCenter.
- 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are found in Alaska.
- The Yukon River is the third-longest river in the United States
- There are over 3,000 rivers in Alaska and more than 3 million lakes!
- The Easternmost, Westernmost and Northernmost points of the United States are all found in Alaska.
- The largest earthquake in the History of the United States (9.2 on the Richter scale) took place in central Alaska. Actually, 3 of the 10 largest earthquakes in the world have taken place in Alaska!
- If Manhattan Island had the same density of population as Alaska, it would have a population of 16 people!
- Alaska has the highest population of men in all the United States at 52%.
- If you could drive across the ocean from Alaska, you could be in Russia in under an hour. The closest point between Alaska and Russia is 50 miles.
- Utqiagvik (maybe more well known as Barrow) has the longest and shortest amount of daylight in the state. From sunrise on May 10th, the sun doesn’t set for the next 3 months. From sunset on November 18th, it doesn’t set for almost the next two months.
- Almost 1/3 of the state of Alaska is in the Arctic Circle.
Alaska Learning Resources
- Field Trips in Alaska
- Alaska Adventure Journal
- Virtual Field Trips in Alaska
- Alaska Notebooking Pages
- Homeschool Field Trip Guide for Alaska
- Alaska Coloring Pages
What did your children enjoy learning the most about the state of Alaska?