Intro Lesson About

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson Plans & Exercises


Learning Pacific Islands from Indigenous Perspectives

Welcome to Pacific Worlds! This project is aimed at providing a cultural and educational resource on indigenous geography, history and culture in the Pacific. The project is comprised of a growing collection of websites on locations in the Hawai‘i-Pacific region, which each website presenting a standardized package of information on culture, environment, history, and geography.

With multiple websites following a similar format, Pacific Worlds aims to provide a tool for the comparative consideration of indigenous Geography of the Pacific Islands. At the current stage, there is a small and limited choice of sites. But the communities in which we live also provide an additional point of comparison. Therefore, the exercises presented here aim at combining your own local area with the websites for an integrated course of study.

The course of study presented here, however, is not a substitute for a semester course in Pacific Island cultures or in Geography, but can be used either in its entirety, or in selected pieces, to accompany or enhance existing courses. But it does provide a start-to-finish program for those who wish to use it as such.

Teachers and students know best what works for them. Teachers hold a wealth of experience and information on teaching methods and exercises. Therefore, Pacific Worlds invites and encourages input from the many skilled teachers in our Islands, to share their wisdom, their successes, and their recommendations for making this guide better serve its purpose. We also encourage input from students about what does and does not work for them.

This is a resource for all Pacific Island teachers and students, and we hope that in the future, it will be mostly authored by Pacific Island teachers who chose to share their experience and wisdom. Please consider this document to be merely a seed. We invite you to help it grow.


Using these Lessons:

This Lesson Plan is divided into an introductory and eight thematic “Lessons” based on the format of the Pacific Worlds website. There is a chronological order to the lessons, as students can build on information collected along the way, but the lessons need not be done as a whole or in order. For those who wish to use these lessons extensively, please consider the following:

• Students might organize a notebook or folder in which to compile their exercises and the data they collect;

• Produce a “blank” base map of your local land division on a sheet of paper. It may (and perhaps should) include some sense of the topography. Make copies of this base-map to use in each lesson.

• For some lessons, a blank outline map of your island is necessary as well.



Orientation to the Website:

(A) The Pacific Worlds Home-Page is the pivot-point for reaching other portions of the website, and contains pages with general information about the project, including educational resources. From here, one can go directly to specific Community Websites either by clicking hot-spots on the map, or selecting from the drop-down menu. Whenever you want to get to the Pacific Worlds Home Page, click on our turtle logo. Remember: "the turtle always takes you home."

(B) The Community Websites are connected to the home page. Each of community website is a complete and detailed presentation of a local community in the Pacific, which are chosen to be representative of their larger island context.

A Community website is composed of an introductory section, which introduces the location, the community participants, an orientation to the land division, and provides an “entry” to the location, as though you had flown in and had to make your journey to this area. There is also a site map and a “map library” for each Community Website, as well as a list of credits for all those who contributed to producing that community’s website.

(C) These Community Websites are broken into eight chapters. The chapters pertain to particular themes (the Sea, the Land, eg), and contain

• A chapter contents page, that provides a quick glance at the content of each page;

• Four to Six topical pages;

• A Glossary of related terms in the local language;

• A list of references and citations, both printed and on-line.

(D) Some websites have additional information placed on special javascript pop-up windows. These are separate windows that “pop up” when a link is clicked, and provide additional material on the topic being discussed. A list of these special pages, with links to where they are found, is located on the Site Map for each Community Website.

(E) Interlinking: Finally, it is the intent of this project that any given page in a community website is linked directly to the same topical page on every other website in the Pacific Worlds network. Thus, if you are on the “Beaches” page of “THE SEA” chapter on, say, Guam, you could select another location from a pull-down menu and see the the “Beaches” page of “THE SEA” chapter in another community. This is what will provide the comparative capability of the project. This stage of the project’s development is currently underway.





Each page includes top and bottom navigation links that allow you to move across the chapters and pages, to the other resource pages, and to the Pacific Worlds Home Page. you get lost, you can always go to the Site Map (there is a link at the bottom of each page), which shows the layout of that Community Website, with direct links to each page.



Disclaimer and Apology:

The circumstances in each island entity are distinct and vary quite considerably across the Pacific, from highly modernized areas and areas that are subsumed by larger colonial powers to areas that are more remote and/or remain highly traditional in leadership and customs. Also from large and/or high islands to low islands and coral atolls. As we write this guide, we attempt to provide tools and exercises that are applicable everywhere, but this is not possible. Therefore, we ask our users to adapt these lessons to the circumstances of their local settings, and to translate our terms into terms that are locally appropriate.


As you use this Guide, we hope that you will let us know what works or does not work for you, and keep us informed of any suggestions you have. Information can be sent to

Doug Herman
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252



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