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Incredible inuksuk

First suggested by Scouts Canada
Learn about towers of rocks and stones and have a go at making your own.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Device with access to the internet

Before you begin

What’s an inuksuk?

  • Inuksuit (singular: inuksuk) are towers of rocks and stones built by Inuit, Iñupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America.
  • Inuksuit are found in northern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska.
  • Inuksuit were used to mark travel routes, camps, navigation points, or hunting grounds. They can be seen from far away and stand up to the tough weather conditions.
  • Inuksuit can have many other uses. They’re also spiritual and can be used for decoration.
  • Today, inuksuit are an important Inuit cultural symbol – an inuksuk is in the middle of the flag and coat of arms of the Canadian territory of Nunavut and the flag of Nunatsiavut.

Incredible inuksuk

  1. The person leading the activity should welcome everyone to the meeting and mute them. They should show everyone some examples of different inuksuit and explain what they are.
  1. Everyone should decide what their inuksuk will mark. They could choose one of the uses the person leading the activity told them about or make up their own.
  2. Everyone should spend up to 10 minutes searching for materials to make their inuksuk.
  1. Once everyone’s gathered their materials, they should start to build their inuksuit. Inuksuit can be any shape or size – some modern ones even look like people.
  1. Once everyone’s finished, they should take it in turns to unmute themselves, show off their inuksuk, and explain what it could be used for.

Reflection

Hopefully building these inuksuit was a fun test of balancing skills and patience. Trying out things from different countries can help people understand a little more about life all over the world. The inuksuk is such an important symbol that it’s on the flag of the Canadian territory Nunavut, and there’s even a school called Inuksuk High School. Can anyone remember what inuksuit can be used for? Who built inuksuit? Why do people think that they’re still an important symbol today?

Building an inuksuk needed everyone to problem solve as they worked out what could balance on top of something else. Did anyone dive straight in and stack a load of different objects without thinking about it? It probably didn’t result in a very stable inuksuk! People needed to take a moment to think and plan to build a balanced tower. When else might people need to pause and think before diving in?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.