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Education Packet

Soul Salmon crafted the following suggested activities to promote discourse among community members of all ages about the importance of wild salmon in local watersheds so they will become stewards of and political advocates for wild salmon. Soul Salmon encourages communities to adapt these activities to suit their unique needs as they engage in meaningful ways to encourage healthy wild salmon runs to return. Soul Salmon believes that putting art at the center of the dialogue will stimulate interactions among community members who will then pass on their enthusiasm to other community groups which will, in turn, promote real change.

Soul Salmon welcomes any additions, corrections, suggestions, success stories, weak points.

Email your comments to Julie Marston at loft@macaid.com

Soul Salmon
Articulating Salmon in The Present Moment

A Study of Habitat, Natural History, Cultural History and Physical Properties of Salmon, in which Community Members of All Ages Create Their Own Transforming Art and Engage in the Use of Analytical, Creative and Problem Solving Skills so They Will Become Better Thinkers and Decision Makers

Written by: Julia M. Marston
Soul Salmon Education Committee
PO Box 295
Chimacum, WA 98325
April, 2000


Soul Soul: Articulating Salmon in The Present Moment is a program of study for community members of all ages. The integrated, thematic strategies are designed to enhance community achievement and motivation; and to encourage cooperative watershed awareness through community identity.

Materials include an artful, interpretive, 8 foot long salmon sculpture with sculpted base designed to convey pertinent watershed lore in sculptural images and to receive community members' salmon art, a Soul Salmon website with links to restoration and existing salmon information, an artist's interpretive tool kit, maps of the watersheds of Puget Sound, bibliography of books (of varying levels of reading difficulty), journals and sketchbooks for each participant.

The purpose of this program is:

  • to help communities imagine and interpret wild salmon, to see salmon as the keystone species, as the axis of the ecosystem, by using art ideas as the touchstone from which this understanding radiates,
  • to develop community understanding of the natural wonders and cultural history of local watersheds by establishing personal connections to wild Pacific salmon, and
  • to help communities experience the issues visually, anesthetically, in a heartful way through creative participation so they will be empowered to make sound political choices.

During STAGE 1: EGG TO ALEVIN participants will learn about their local watershed and the unique contribution of salmon to its health and vitality.

During STAGE 2: FRY TO SMOLT participants will be responding to a juried artist's artful transformation of 8 foot fiberglass salmon sculpture created by Tom Jay, preeminent sculptor of salmon (sponsored by a community business).

During STAGE 3: JUVENILE TO SPAWNER participants will create projects and develop a presentation to be performed for the public in relation to the Soul Salmon sculpture.

The Primary Goal is for participants to identify various natural and cultural characteristics of wild Pacific salmon by experiencing, firsthand, an artist's articulation of salmon in the present moment

The Secondary Goal is to encourage participants to use analytical, creative and problem solving skills to generate a variety of products in several content areas within the theme.

The Final Goal is to help participants to become involved in their own learning while engaging in a balance of independent investigation and meaningful group interaction.

Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR's) for each of the activities are included.

In the Watershed (physically or virtually)
Introduction to local ecosystem / watershed
Content: Social Studies, Research Skills, Language Arts, Environmental Science

Activity 1
[EALR's: Art 1.1, 4.1; Science 1.3]

    State: A diagram of a Pacific Northwest ecosystem for each participant.

    Elaborate: Starting at the top, group discusses what animals and plants interact in the tree canopy, the trees, the understory, the water system.

    Exemplify: Each participant draws images of life forms in all stages, focusing on the salmon's unique contribution to the health of each. Illustrate: In what ways is the salmon the connector, the silver needle, the keystone species? Create an artistic interpretation (visual, poetic, performance) of this insight.

Activity 2
[EALR's: Science 1.1, 2.1; Geography 3.1]

    State: Define the work of a steward. Examine evidence of watershed health / ill health.

    Elaborate: Each participant plays the role of a steward who has just found a piece of evidence (salmon carcass, bear dung, silt, canary grass, chunk of dam, etc). Discuss the observation techniques one would use to identify and date evidence.

    Exemplify: Each participant makes an "educated guess" as to how this evidence go there. He/she will describe, date, and draw a sketch of the evidence. He/she will draw conclusions about the impact of this evidence on watershed health.

    Illustrate: Given all the evidence collected, discuss how, if the trend were to continue, the watershed would be in ten years, a hundred years. Discuss what evidence a steward would like to find / would not like to find then.

Activity 3
[EALR's: Communication: 3.2; Geography 1.1; Arts 1.1]

    State: Groups of three or four each study a map of the local watershed.

    Elaborate: Groups discuss and record the geographic features of the land; identify the major regions, populated areas, salmon runs.

    Exemplify: Using art materials, each group will create a map (2 or 3 dimensional) of the local watershed that emphasizes the importance of water on salmon populations and on the ecosystem.

    Illustrate: Each group will create a bird's eye view of a section of the watershed before white contact and one now. Compare and contrast. Place salmon, then and now. Assemble the parts into a complete model.

Activity 4
[EALR's: Reading 3.2; Geography 1.1; Art]

    State: Each participant is given a portion of information about the land, climate, and hydrology of the watershed.

    Elaborate: Each participant studies his/her information and highlights key points. Participants are encouraged to search for related information in other sources.

    Exemplify: Each student takes the role of a mapmaker and records his/her information. He/she decorates the map with pictures representative of the hydrology of that region. Research wildlife and plant life of your region and illustrate map with images of them (focusing on salmon).

    Illustrate: In what ways does the hydrology of a region contribute to its ecosystem? In what ways does unnatural change upset/enhance the balance.

Activity 5
[EALR's: Geography 2.1, 2.2; Science 1.1, Writing 2.1]

    State: Each group of 3-4 is given a different picture of (or visits first hand) a specific site in the local watershed.

    Elaborate: Each participant writes a journal entry about his/her site and records words, ideas, questions about which he/she has become curious. Participants will record data that they learn from the photographs (sites) - land formations, evidence of water, effects of weather elements, plants, animals, human presence, evidence of salmon.

    Exemplify: Each group shares his/her picture with each other group (or each other group visits each site) until all pictures are shared (or sites visited). Reconvene and record a group list of words, ideas, questions, curiosities.

    Illustrate: Write articles about the experience of being at one of the watershed sites. Include who, what, where, when, why, how information. The article could be an interview, an editorial, a cartoon, an account of the trip, comments about thoughts and feelings evoked by the site. Include questions / evidence of salmon.

    Combine articles into a publishable newsletter to distribute in the community at large (published in local paper) in anticipation of the coming Soul Salmon.

Activity 6
[EALR's: Science 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.1, Communication 3.1, Art 1.3]

    State: Participants select from a variety of water quality indicators affecting salmonid populations (dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, fecal Coliform count) one or more of which they decide to measure in their home watershed.

    Elaborate: Participants collect data in their local streams -- compile, analyze and summarize results with respect to the interactions within the watershed that affect organisms living within it

    Exemplify: Participants evaluate what human impacts can be altered to affect positive change in water quality indicators. Visit, share and discuss findings with local agencies involved in water quality issues (Conservation District, Salmon Coalition, PUD, etc.)

    Illustrate: Participants join in creating a visual expression of their findings to share.

Stage 2 : FRY TO SMOLT
Introduction to human encounters in this watershed
Content: Social Studies, Research Skills, Language Arts, Visual Arts

Activity 1
[EALR's: Reading 3.1; Communication 2.4; Writing 2.3; Art 2.1]

    State: Each participant reads a portion of information about the evidence of early humans and the presence of salmon in this watershed

    Elaborate: Participants search for and highlight all nouns, verbs, and describing words in his/her piece. Students identify the words that express reasons why civilization arose and why salmon thrived here.

    Exemplify: Each participant uses his/her collection of words and record of thoughts and feelings from the previous activity to create poetry about ancient peoples and their relation to salmon in this watershed. (haiku, diamante, cinquain, patoum or a form of choice)

    Illustrate: Use petroglyphs to illustrate poetry.

Activity 2
[EALR's: Geography 3.1; Science 1.3; History 1.1, 2.1; Writing 2.2, 2.2, 3.1-3.5; S.S. 3.1, 3.2]

    State: Brainstorm the major reason for the development of civilization in this watershed - food water, shelter, space (geography, climate, natural resources, making a living, villages, communication, philosophy, religion, art, music, poetry, science)

    Elaborate: Participants identify most likely reasons why civilization grew here (focus on role of salmon).

    Exemplify: Suppose you were in a time matching and awoke in ancient times in this watershed. Record what you would experience and what you are most curious about. Now that you are back, write a letter (or communicate in a way he/she will understand) to a person in that time telling them what you know about them and their relation to salmon and asking what you most want to know about them and this relationship.

    Illustrate: Based on the evidence of the existence of this civilization that is found in the world today, write about what you think their relationship with salmon was. Write how this relationship compares / contrasts with human relationship with salmon today in this place.

Activity 3
[EALR's: Reading 2.3, 3.1; Arts 3.1]

    State: Each participant (or group) reads a Native salmon story (or story of watershed lore) about their local / regional watershed.

    Elaborate: Participants tell the stories or present dramatic representations of the stories to each other.

    Exemplify: Identify the roles of salmon in these cultures based on these stories. Identify the Native attitudes toward salmon.

    Illustrate: Illustrate these stories visually - in mural form, sculptural form, as banners, or puppetry, perhaps.

Activity 4
[EALR's: History 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; Science 1.3, Economics 1.1; Reading 2.1; Communications 3.2; Arts 3.1]

    State: Each pair of participants reads a piece of information about people who have formed the cultural history of the watershed (first people, contact with seafarers, American settlers, shipwrecks, military contact, entrepreneurs, environmentalists)

    Elaborate: Read the information to each other and identify the who, what, when, where and why.

    Exemplify: Create a dramatic presentation to share with the other pairs to represent the unique story of the people discussed in this piece. Include props, costumes, mime, dialogue, body movement.

    Illustrate: Research the impact of each group on the salmon population and the importance of salmon to the health/success of the people. Compare / contrast attitudes toward, relationships with, assumptions held about salmon populations (reverence, economic dependence, indifference...)

Activity 5
[EALR's: Geography 3.3; History 1.2, 2.1; Communications 2.4; Writing 2.3]

    State: Each participant reads a copy of a different journal entry of Captain Vancouver or Menzies written in 1792, or Lewis and Clark in 1805 when they came to Washington, or Oregon Trail migrant, or mountain men... (entries focusing on encounters with salmon?)

    Elaborate: Participants search for key words in the reading: landforms, plants, wildlife, human life, weather, location, and time words.

    Exemplify: Participants categorize key words such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs. Students write poems (diamantes, haikus, or cinquains) using the descriptive words from the journal entries.

    Illustrate: Write a journal entry for 1992 in the style of Vancouver or Lewis and Clark being sure to include specific information about plants, landforms, wildlife, salmon, human life, weather, location, time as they appear today.

Activity 6
[EALR's: History 1.2, Geography 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, Economics 1.1, Arts 1.1, Communication 1.3, 3.3]

    State: A third of the group studies Native stories and the illustrations formerly created. Another third studies the "first contact" white people's written accounts and illustrations. Another third reads recent studies of salmon runs (media / fisheries).

    Elaborate: Each group identify the style, intent, perspective (voice), purpose, audience, tone, etc. of these various accounts.

    Exemplify: Each group present to the other its unique style. Discuss using questioning strategies the ways the Native stories, the early white written accounts and contemporary accounts compare and contrast.

    Illustrate: What do these renditions reveal about the changing role of salmon to various human populations? What has been lost? What has been gained? What has remained constant?

Activity 7
[EALR's: Arts 1.1, 2.3, 4.4, S.S. 1.3, Communication 1.3]

    State: Each student studies an artistic rendition of salmon (Native designs, masks, carvings; early explorers' sketches; contemporary visual and sculptural works) and records artistic elements: color, line, shape, form, value, texture; and principles of composing: balance, variation, repetition, etc.

    Elaborate: Leader guides students through a series of questions about the piece to help them observe the artistic integrity of the work.

    Exemplify: Each student writes a paragraph "critique" of the art as representative of the artist's personal articulation of salmon at a particular moment. Display paragraphs with art. All participants "gallery walk."

    Illustrate: Discuss the variety of artistic interpretations of salmon from various points of view in varying times and culture.

Experiencing the issues through creative participation
Content: Social Studies, Research Skills, Language Arts, Visual Arts, Performing Arts.

Activity 1
[EALR's: Communications 1.1, 2.3; Arts 1.2]

    State: Each participant combines personal journal ideas and community understandings gleaned from group's discussion in previous activity to form his/her own personal articulation of salmon in the present moment.

    Elaborate: Brainstorm ways each participant could create a personal articulation of salmon in the present moment in this particular watershed: maps, field guides, sketches, sculpture, painting, print, published journals of watershed sites, photo journals of watershed sites, quilt, rock collection, travel log, celebration masks, banners, pennants, slogans, watershed trade beads, postcards for trading with other watersheds, illustrated newsletter, website...

    Exemplify: Completed visual projects will be on display at the community presentation.

Activity 2
[EALR's: Arts 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 4.3]

    State: Soul Salmon arrive! Participants journey to all exhibited salmon and observe and enjoy!

    Elaborate: Each participant respond in journal to how the artists' renditions reflect/do not reflect their particular watershed.

    Exemplify: Adopt ONE of the salmon as the group's totem. Group focuses on that totem salmon. Each participant identify specific elements of the artistic rendition that capture their personal understanding of salmon presence in their particular watershed by responding to the following questions:

    Illustrate: Compile, review, categorize information. In what ways does this artist's rendition represent salmon in this community's watershed at this moment - naturally, culturally, politically . . .

    Collectively, how do the community renditions reflect community connection with salmon in relation to the Soul Salmon renditions? (superficial? deep awareness? need for change?)

Activity 3
[EALR's: Communication 2.1; Arts 1.5, 2.1, 4.3]

    State: Each participant chooses one "character" of this study - lifeform, plant, watershed element, Native American, settler, explorer, business person, fisherperson, steward, various community leaders who could encourage change - he/she wants to portray at the presentation.

    Elaborate: Each participant collects data from each other about the character and creates a script, gathers a costume and makes props.

    Exemplify: Participants combine the character sketches into a presentation for the community.

    Illustrate: Craft community action plan for raising awareness of salmon issues, political action needed, community wide legislative influence...



    Challinor's Dictionary of Geology, 6th Edition

    Edited by Antony Wyatt
    New York, Oxford University Press (c)1986
    ISBN 0-19-520506-5

    Roadside Geology of Washington

    David D. Alt, Donald W. Hyndman
    Mountain Press Publishing Co. (c)1984
    ISBN 0-87842-160-2

    Northwest Exposures: A Geologic Story of the Northwest

    David Alt, Donald W. Hyndman
    Mountain Press Publishing Co. (c)1995
    ISBN 0-87842-323-0

    Geology of the Pacific Northwest

    Elizabeth Orr, William Orr
    McGraw-Hill Co. (c)1996
    ISBN 0-07-048018-4

Natural History

    The Natural History of Puget Sound Country

    Arthur R. Kruckenberg
    University of Washington Press (c)1991
    ISBN 0-295-97019-7

    Cascade-Olympic Natural History

    Daniel Mathews
    Everbest Printing (c)1988
    ISBN 0-9620782-0-4

    Olympic National Park - A Natural History

    Tim McNulty
    Houghton Mifflin Co. (c)1996
    ISBN 1-57061-168-8


    Rainshadow - Archibald Menzies and the Botanical Exploration of the Olympic Peninsula

    Edited by Jerry Gorsline
    Jefferson County Historical Society, (c)1992

    Flora of the Pacific Northwest

    Hitchcock & Cronquist
    University of Washington Press (c)1973
    ISBN 0-295-95273-3

    The Fertile Fjord - Plankton in Puget Sound

    Richard M. Strickland
    University of Washington Press (c)1983
    ISBN 0-295-95979-7

    Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast

    Pojar & MacKinnon
    Lone Pine Publishing (c)1994
    ISBN 1-55105-040-4

Human History

    The Living History of Bellingham

    Annie Dillard
    Harper Collins (c)1992
    ISBN 0-06-016870-6

    Shadows of Our Ancestors - Readings in the History of Klallam-White Relations

    Edited by Jerry Gorsline
    Dalmo'ma VIII Empty Bowl (c)1992

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