Here’s the final installment of teachers' answers to the question: “Describe (in brief) the best Montana history or IEFA lesson/project resource your taught this year--the one you will make time for next year no matter what.”
I Can't Have Bannock But the Beaver Has a Dam by Bernelda Wheeler ISBN: 0-895411-48-3. —Ruth Ferris, Washington School Billings, MT
A unit on Indian Boarding Schools. Using the DVD - Into the West in conjunction with the textbook and primary sources. Students were very interested.
Two teachers found significance in powwows. One wrote: “In my school I have 2 high school students that take part in powwows as Traditional and Grass Dancers. My most successful lessons--as expected--center around their teaching me about their culture.” The other wrote: “I taught a powwow lesson that included the dances and regalia. We learned protocol and courtesies. We ended encouraging students to attend the local powwow.”
I cannot say that there is a best project--we enhance our literature readings with learning more about local and US history. I tell all of my classes that we cannot understand literature until we fully understand the history behind it. We use the following novels in my six English classes to learn more about history: The Big Burn (fires of 1910; the development of the Forest Service); The Jungle (immigration; life in 1910); O Pioneers! (homesteading); Indian Creek Chronicles (Selway Bitterroot wilderness and study of place; finding place in our own lives); This House of Sky (study of place; researching local records and newspaper archives); Winter Wheat (region, school history); Letters from Yellowstone (regional place and history—narratives); Speaking Ill of the Dead (researching and interviewing); Vantha's Whisper & The Greatest Generation (Veterans and War); The Coffin Quilt (boundaries, feuds, history and importance of quilts through time); Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird (Depression-era both at a local and national level). I am happy to share ideas or resources I have used--many of these are already posted on our school's website. —Darlene Beck, Townsend High School
I made a match of the reservations and a map on the smart board and slowly added population and other cool facts for the kids to work with. I also liked the Thanksgiving resources. [Note: I’m not sure which Thanksgiving resources this teacher is referring to—perhaps http://www.opi.mt.gov/PDF/IndianEd/HotTopics/ModelLesson_1621.pdf]