Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite Elementary Montana History, IEFA or Heritage Education Lessons

As is my habit, at the end of last year I surveyed members of the listserv, both to get feedback on the list and to gather everyone’s favorite lessons so I could share them with the group. Thank you!

My favorite part of the survey is being able to share teacher-approved lessons—so, without further ado, here are answers from elementary teachers to the question “Describe (in brief) the best Montana history or IEFA lesson or project or resource your taught this year--the one you will make time for next year no matter what.”

Mapping Montana, A-Z (Grades 4-6)
Tani McKeever, who teaches in Lavina said, “I used the map Montana from A to Z activity with my 5th and 6th graders.  They were so excited about getting their own map!  It was like I gave them money :) They were busy and working meaningfully AND independently for 2 whole class periods.  This was a terrific introduction to MT geography and really peaked their interest.” Several other teachers also gave this lesson two thumbs up.

Hands-On History Trunks (Grades 3-5)
“I love all the Montana History trunks that circulate to some of the 4th grade Helena teachers.  We teach Montana History and the Montana Historical Society trunks are fantastic resources and great hands on for the kids.”

Danish Memoir (Grades 3-6) 
Billings Librarian Ruth Ferris had her students reread and create illustrations for paragraphs from  a memoir we published as part of our “Coming to Montana: Immigrants from around the World” footlocker. (Stay tuned for a complete revamping of this footlocker with this lesson plan incorporated into the new user guide.)

Panning for Gold/Motherlode Lesson (Grades 3-5)
Two teachers mentioned using this lesson, which can be found on page 32 of user guide for the “Gold, Silver and Coal” footlocker. This is a good time to note that all of the footlockers’ user guides can be downloaded and that you can do many of their lesson plans WITHOUT ordering the footlocker.

Montana Tribes Investigation (Grades 3-5)“Each child chose a MT tribe to investigate, past and present. They formulated questions about the tribe, researched for the answers, and compared the past life to present day life of the tribe. Lastly, they put together presentations to inform their classmates about their tribes.”

What Brought Us to Montana (Grades 3-5)“We did some assignment work on our heritage and what brought us to Montana. We went back to Ellis Island for some of the information. The kids learned a lot when they interviewed "old timers."

A Beautiful Tradition: Ingenuity and Adaptation in a Century of Plateau Women's Art
Jennifer Ogden, Victor, wrote: “Laura Ferguson wrote the art history component and I added a hands-on beading and sewing component for my 4th graders.” There are also versions of this curriculum designed for middle school, and high school.

Montana Biographies
Vivian Schultz from Ryegate (K-6 librarian) wrote: “I taught the biographies lesson using Montana historical resources.”

Northern Cheyenne and Crow Language GreetingsPenny Reynolds, Central School (Helena) Title I/Reading teacher wrote: “I taught Northern Cheyenne language phrases as well as Crow language greetings.” She didn’t say, but she might have used these online resources from the Western Heritage Center in Billings.

Traditional Games “I taught Traditional Games with the opportunity throughout the year to play the games.” This teacher didn’t provide a link, but here’s an OPI lesson plan on teaching traditional games.

Didn’t have time to do the survey but have a great lesson to share—a one you love, regardless of who created it? Send it along and I’ll let folks know.

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