The FUNd Stuff at PNA!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

by Martina Henke | PNA 5th Grade Teacher

Our social studies standards are ambitious; built around the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Frameworks, they include standards for content and skills, but also standards for developing questions, planning inquiry, evaluating sources, using evidence, communicating conclusions, and taking informed action. The C3 framework states that there are four major disciplines in social studies—civics, economics, geography, and history—and that links to all four disciplines should be found in all social studies courses. There are six guiding principles of the C3 framework:

  • Social studies prepares young people for success in college and career, as well as informed, engaged participation in civic life.

  • Inquiry is at the heart of social studies instruction.

  • Social studies involves interdisciplinary instruction and benefits from interaction with and integration of the arts and humanities.

  • Social studies is composed of deep and enduring understandings, concepts, and skills from the disciplines.

Inquiry is indeed at the heart of social studies instruction - of all instruction. When the goal is to develop students who are independent thinkers and exceptional learners, the best place to begin is with their natural curiosity and sense of wonder. When inquiry is at the heart of instruction, we support students in: -living a life full of curiosity -exploring ideas and issues that connect with the own interests and the wider world -tackling big ideas, essential questions, and deep understandings as they read, write, and research -reading and responding flexibly and with a critical stance -thinking creatively and sharing new learning in creative ways -engaging in collaborative learning and action. Our class is knee deep in our American Revolution inquiry this month. Students are challenged to become experts on this topic in reading workshop, so they can share their knowledge with others during writing workshop. Students are developing questions, reading fiction and non-fiction texts of all kinds, and discussing their reading understanding and connections to events and ideas that formed the core of our nation’s beginning. They are connecting their growing knowledge of US geography with the historical events of this exciting time in US history. Atlases, videos, primary sources, historical novels - all these are rich content pushing the inquiry forward. Students are asking important questions and viewing the events from multiple perspectives. History, geography, economics, and civics all take center stage as students learn about boycotts, legislative bodies, taxes, and key historical events. Each question leads to another as they wrestle with the thorny, multi-faceted, messy realities of history. Why was it called the “Boston Massacre?” Was it a massacre? Why did Parliament impose the Intolerable Acts? In 1776, what was it like to be a Loyalist? A Patriot? A slave? A woman? A Native American? A merchant? A soldier? How did thirteen very different and independent colonies come together as one united entity? How does one define “liberty,” and for whom?" Inquiring minds want to know. Resources:

View our 5th grade social studies standards HERE.

Postcards from the Classroom

Take a look at the exciting activities students were involved in last week!

Click any picture to jump into the slideshow.

A Message from Student Council about #GivingTuesday - December 3, 2019

Celebrated on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, #GivingTuesday harnesses the generosity of millions of people around the world to support the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

If you believe in independent education, please consider supporting PNA on #GivingTuesday this year. Small gifts have a big impact. Your support helps our students reach their goals.

You can give online at -

or by visiting our Facebook page at and clicking the donate button.

Like What You See?

You Can Support It!

Your gift benefits today's students and everyone's future.

Spread the word, and don't let PNA be Anchorage's best kept secret. Let your friends know!

To make a donation or refer a family to PNA, Call (907) 333-1080 or click here to visit the giving page on our website.

Other Ways to Support PNA

Link your Fred Meyer rewards card:

Link your Rewards Card to Pacific Northern Academy by visiting

Whenever you use your Rewards card when shopping at Fred Meyer, you’ll be helping PNA earn a donation from Fred Meyer.

Rewards Customers still get the Rewards Points, Fuel Points and Rebates

Coming Right Up...

December 3rd - #GivingTuesday

December 5th - Winter Concert

You can also check out all of the upcoming events on our website by clicking calendar under our about PNA tab.

Just One More...

Many Thanks To

John Hardwick and Ral West

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.

Skiva Investments LLC

The FUNd Stuff is a bi-monthly (or so) publication from the staff, students, parents, and teachers of PNA. Want to know more about anything we've highlighted here? Get in touch! (907) 333-1080 or


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
Thank You! 

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.


Many thanks to... 

John Hardwick and Ral West


Skiva Investments LLC



get social!

Follow us to see just how much fun an independent education can be! 



Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 3:15 pm

Extended Day Program: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

Front Office 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Contact information


2511 Sentry Drive, Suite 100

Anchorage, Alaska 99507

Tel: (907) 333-1080 Fax: (907) 333-1652

Pacific northerN academy is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization
tax id: 92-0145501