Our footlockers are among our most popular educational resources. Designed for fourth grade—but used successfully in both lower elementary, middle school, and high school classrooms—these thematic "traveling trunks" focus on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the fur-trading and mining industries, to Indian life during the reservation period and today. The only cost associated with using this resource is the cost of shipping the footlocker on to the next school. (This varies by weight and distance but usually averages around $30.) Learn more about the footlocker program here.
Teachers think our footlockers are an incredibly valuable resource, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't be updated and made even more valuable. Which brings us back to Treasure Chest! Here are the new lessons that need to be tested. If you teach fourth grade and would like to test one of these in your classroom during the spring semester, please let me know.
Lesson 1: I Have, Who Has… (30 minutes)*
Students will gain a quick introduction to Montana’s state symbols by playing “I have, who has.”
Lesson 3: State Seal and Flag (two 50-minute class periods)*
Lesson 4: Montana’s State Songs (two 50-minute class periods)*Students will learn about Montana’s state seal and flag by reading an article. They will learn about principles of flag design. They will think about how they would symbolize the essence of Montana by designing their own versions of the flag and writing about their process.
Students will learn to sing the state song, listen to the state lullaby and state ballad and then write their own song celebrating Montana.
Lesson 5: Montana’s State Animal (two to three 50-minute class periods)*
Students will learn to identify grizzly bears and how to be safe around all bears. They will learn how the grizzly became our state symbol. They also read short pieces that reveal two historical figures’ attitudes toward grizzlies: Chief Plenty Coups and Captain Meriwether Lewis and, after reading, contrast their perspectives. Finally, they write informally about whether they agree that grizzlies are the best state animal for Montana.Lesson 7: Gift of the Bitterroot (one to two 50-minute class periods)*
Students will listen to a traditional story, learn about the importance of bitterroot to the Salish and Pend d’Oreille people historically and today and create a Venn diagram comparing past and present.Lesson 8: The Montana State Fossil (one to two 50-minute class periods).**
Students will learn what life was like for some of the Montana dinosaurs that lived 80 million years ago and 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, by listening to the book Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up. They will learn about comparative morphology by comparing their own bodies to the body of a Maiasaura.Lesson 9: Learning about Sapphires (one 50-minute class period)***
Students will read and share information about Montana sapphires with their classmates, complete a KWL chart on sapphires, and learn more about sapphires through a PowerPoint and the sapphire exhibit included in the footlocker.Lesson 10: Creating a Museum of Montana Symbols (three-five 50-minute class periods)***
Students will use the artifacts images from the footlocker to create a classroom museum. They will write interpretive labels and then invite other classes and/or parents and community members to view their displays.*These lessons are ready to test anytime after January 3.
**This lesson is ready to test anytime after January 3, but you must have access to the book Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up. (Check your library.)
***This lesson needs to be tested by a class in Helena or within a short drive. It will be ready to test in March (fingers crossed.)