Paddle-to-the-Sea: A Math Lesson

We will estimate how long the journey will take for Paddle. Students will estimate what kind of food supplies they would need for a trip of this nature. We will also learn how to use the scale on a map and explore how to scale a map.Paddle to the Sea was first published in 1941. This book has varied reviews by Native Scholars and culturalists. The teacher of this lesson used some of the dated language and content to teach about racism of the past and changes in our cultural respect. Please be sure to always check with local elders and community members in your region, to ensure the use of appropriate Native materials for your classroom curriculum.

Materials Needed


Art Materials

Activity Process


"Who knows where Duluth, Minneapolis, Chicago, or the Atlantic Ocean is?" Pose the question: "How many hours, days, or months, would it take you to get to Duluth, Minneapolis, Chicago, or the Atlantic Ocean?"


Look at a map scale and explore/learn how the scale works.


Make a map scale for our map of Paddle-to-the-Sea's journey.


How many miles has Paddle traveled today? How many miles will he travel tomorrow?


Our children will be able to explain how a map scale works by completing an unfinished map with a scale.

Vocabulary Words


See the additional Paddle to the Sea lesson plans, that partner well with this lesson plan.

Primary Content Area

American Indian Learner Outcomes

Content Standards



Social Studies