Thursday, November 15, 2012

New resources for Teaching about/with Ledger Art and Winter Counts

We’re proud as punch of our new curriculum: “The Art of Storytelling: Plains Indian Perspectives.” It is based on the museum exhibit of the same name, which features the Montana Historical Society’s rich collection of Indian art. (That exhibit closes the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you are in Helena in the next week, it is a must-see.)

In cooperation with the Indian Education Division of the Montana Office of Public Instruction, and art educators Marina Weatherly and Jon Bercier, MHS created curriculum packets, which include
  • Prints of selected images from the exhibit
  • PowerPoints and scripts
  • Standards-based lessons designed for K-3, 4-6, and 7-12
  • Sample pages from actual ledger books, to copy and use as canvases
  • Background information for teachers.
And the folder containing all this great material can be unfolded to become a poster for display.
These packets were sent to all Montana public school libraries in October 2012, so check your library. Not only did we send this curriculum to Montana public schools, but we’ve posted it online.
Here’s what I especially love about this curriculum:
  • It includes lessons geared toward all grades, including K-3 (sometimes our elementary teachers get left out)
  • It is keyed to the Art Standards as well as to the Essential Understandings
  • The art lessons include history and reading as well as art
  • The lessons are both detailed and flexible—and, especially the K-6 lessons, provide multiple options for teachers
  • The PowerPoints can stand alone as their own 50-minute lesson (to be used in social studies classes)—or to complement the larger art curriculum
  • The images are stunning.
Please check out the website and the hard copy in your library and let us know what you think. Any feedback would be very welcome (especially after you’ve used it in the classroom). We will apply your advice to our next endeavor. 
P.S. While supplies last, you can request your personal packet by emailing dmitchell@mt.gov.

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