Friday, February 7, 2014

PowerPoints/Chapter Notes for Montana: Stories of the Land

Jack Young of Harlem High School wrote me recently asking if I knew of anyone who had made chapter notes and/or PowerPoint presentations for the chapters in the textbook Montana: Stories of the Land.

If you have—and you are willing to share them with him—please contact me at mkohl@mt.gov and I'll pass along your material or otherwise put you two in touch. (I’d be interested in seeing your PowerPoints/Chapter Notes as well, but I doubt I could share them widely without a fair amount of work due to image copyright issues.)

Another Option: Student-Generated PowerPoints

One option for teachers interested in creating this sort of resource is to assign specific chapters to individual students or groups of students, making them responsible for constructing the PowerPoints and for sharing them with the class. Students could copy images from the PDFs we’ve posted online of each chapter  as part of the Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website and Online Teacher's Guide.

Reading specialist Sue Dailey worked with us during the creation of the textbook to make sure it was easy to outline by insisting that

  1. That each chapter opened with a set of questions that previewed the main chapter topics (Read to Find Out) 
  2. That each chapter also had a “Big Picture” statement summarizing of its main theme, and 
  3. That we incorporated clear, consisted subheads into the chapter organization

If students used these guideposts (especially the subheads and big picture statement), I bet their chapter notes/PowerPoints would be pretty successful.

PowerPoints that Complement (But Don’t Summarize) Textbook Chapters

Although we’ve never created PowerPoints that summarize the material in the textbook, we have created several PowerPoints that supplement and expand upon that material.

MHS Interpretive Historian Ellen Baumler created a PowerPoint-based lesson plan, "Children of the Mining Camps," which links to a PowerPoint presentation of the same title to complement Chapters 6 and 10.

Ellen also created a PowerPoint-based lesson plan, "What They Left Behind," which links to a PowerPoint presentation on the various types of archaeological sites found in Montana, to complement Chapter 2.

The PowerPoint-based lesson plan, "Railroads Transform Montana," complements Chapter 9—and is one of my favorites. The lesson—which includes a PowerPoint presentation—emphasizes the how trains affected the social, economic, and physical landscape of Montana.

And our new hands-on history footlocker, Coming to Montana: Immigrants from around the World, includes a PowerPoint lesson on twentieth-century immigrants (Hutterites, Hispanics, and Hmong) that would expand nicely on Chapter 20. (See Lesson 7 in the User Guide for the PowerPoint script and a link to the PowerPoint itself). (For more on this fabulous new footlocker, see this earlier post).

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