Here are the answers submitted thus far from middle school teachers.
Learning from Historical Document UnitsMarylou Sytsma (7th-8th grade, Manhattan Christian) writes: “I really enjoy using the primary source documents that are available through the curriculum. The earthquake letter from Helena really gives the students a chance to step back into the past and read about an event from one person's point of view. It helps them to experience history first hand rather than just read it in third person from a textbook. We have great discussions when we talk about the letter and how things have changed now.” Note: We’ve digitized primary sources for almost every chapter of the Montana: Stories of the Land textbook. See the main page for each chapter on the Montana: Stories of the Land website for links.
Examining ArtifactsKim Konen, 7th grade Montana History teacher in Whitehall, brings in tools to supplement her class’s study of the Montana: Stories of the Land chapter on “Livestock and the Open Range." “My family lives on a ranch near Dillon, Montana. I was able to get some old brands, dockers, sheep shears, and other old tools that were used by my grandparents and have been in my family to share with my class. It was fun to explain how the various tools were used and to be able to explain how technology has become an important part in ranching and farming today. How things have changed and made raising livestock and crops easier to produce!”
Building a Gold Rush TownWendy DosSantos, Trout Creek School, writes: “The lesson I would repeat again would be for the creation of our gold town model (used along with Chapter 6 in Montana: Stories of the Land). The kids make a mining town/camp loosely based off Bannack (They are free to name their own town.) They make buildings from popsicle sticks and place them on a big, painted piece of plywood. They use spray insulating foam to create terrain. Through the lesson we talk about what types of buildings were likely to be in a mining camp, etc. They all are proud of their efforts, and the whole school enjoys the final product which is now displayed in the library. For the little kids [who attend the same school] I display library books with a western theme or setting with the display.”
Unit on Place“I taught a unit on sense of 'Place.' The unit included a historical and contemporary look at the Salish and the importance of the Bitterroot Valley.” Although the teacher didn’t mention it, she might have used “Building World Views Using Traditional Cultures and Google Earth.”
FieldtripTeri Ogle of White Sulphur Springs takes here 7th graders on a “three-day field trip throughout Montana - with overnight stays at participating schools.”
Immigration Maps“We are making maps showing immigrant homesteaders that settled in Stillwater County. An extension of this activity if we have time, will show an overlay off previous Crow lands to see how lands were assimiliated by different cultures.”
Montana: Stories of the Land textbook.
No quotes from the teacher—but you can bet I was happy to see this recommendation.