Range Cookie Map
An Edible Lesson in Geography
and Writing Connections >>
Where do the Porcupine caribou roam? In the Arctic, a rich and diverse land
of mountains and tundra. Study this wilderness range to learn the paths
the caribou travel then make a cookie map of the landscape they roam.
Background: Key Geographic Features for your
If you are not very familiar with the north pull out your atlases and get your
bearings, or take a look at this interactive Web page supplied by the Porcupine
Caribou Herd Satellite Collar Project.
Mountain Ranges, Rivers and Towns
long migration south to the valleys north of the Ogilvie Mountains the
Porcupine caribou find protection from deep snows already fallen on
the southern slopes. On the eastern edge of their range, strong winter
winds keep snow from accumulating in the Richardson Mountains offering
the caribou a better environment for finding food and protection. In
the west, the Chandalar Mountains protect these migrating animals
from cold winter weather that blows in from the Bering Sea.
the caribou move northward towards the coastal plain of the Beaufort
Sea to find the first of the spring greens. This is the area where
yearly calving occurs. Here the strong and constant winds blowing off
the Beaufort Sea and over the coastal plain help to disperse the great
swarms of insect enemies. This coastal area lies inside the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge in the United States and extends east into
the Ivvavik National Park in Canada.
The rivers of the Arctic play an important role for the caribou. First, in
warmer seasons rivers provide drinking water. Second,a river's volume and flow
determines where the herds can cross over. Also, river valleys are used as
geographical landmarks in the caribou's annual migrations guiding the herds
through age-old pathways.
- The Porcupine
Each of the following towns and landmarks lies within the range of the migrating
Porcupine caribou herd. What do you think happens when the caribou are confronted
with civilization? How has this ancient migration affected the people along
the migration path?
- Old Crow
Bay and nearby oil development
The porcupine caribou migrate each year passing from Canada into the United
States and back without ever knowing it! For centuries the herd has moved
freely between Alaska, the Yukon and Northwestern Territories during the course
of a year.
Making the Cookie Map
you will need:
sugar cookie dough
blue and green frosting
edible treats to represent towns and caribou
- Red hots
pins and paper labels
in groups, design your range map on a piece of paper using the maps
of the caribou migration range. Include mountains, rivers and towns.
out and form cookie dough on a large cookie sheet in the shape of
the caribou range.
the big cookie looks like your map, send it to the oven to bake.
the cookie is hot, place the large chocolate drops where the mountain
ranges are shown in darker colors on the range map.
- Add the
licorice for the rivers
- Use white
frosting to paint in the 3 main wintering areas
- Use blue
frosting for the Beaufort Sea
- Use green
frosting to show the summer calving grounds
treats on landmarks, (Dawson City, Arctic Village, Kaktovik, etc.)
- Use treats
(small ones!) as place markers for individual caribou
each important landmark
at your maps. What features do you notice that make this suitable range
for these caribou. Think about and discuss the details.