Monday, May 5, 2014

More Fourth Grade Resources

There was great response to my recent post, Teaching Montana History in Fourth Grade, including some additional ideas for resources and approaches.

Chris Siefert at MontanaPBS wrote: "I might add the Mission US game called Cheyenne Odyssey, which is designed for 4th graders… It covers the Cheyenne experiences as encroachment occurred…and the title character is Little Fox…and the voices and places are Montana…" (This works with Chapter 7 of the textbook).

Dalene Normand, in Frenchtown, is new to fourth grade. She noted that one fourth grade teacher in her school, "Kathy Gaul brings in many of your history trunks and teaches almost exclusively through them and the various resources she has picked up from the many workshops and classes she has attended throughout the years.  The other 4th grade teacher does Montana through a little book we have, Montana, from the Land of Liberty series, written by Mike Graf and  published by Capstone Press.  Being a newbie, I used both the little textbook and included the trunks when they arrived and found it to be very successful.  The book touched on a little of the history, while including Montana government and economy, and the trunks gave the opportunity to go more in depth and make history 'real' for the kiddos."

Finally, reading specialist and curriculum developer Tammy Elser, author of The Framework: A Practical Guide for Montana Teachers and Administrators Implementing Indian Education for All, suggested that teachers have their students read and analyze excerpts from Montana: Stories of the Land instead of just using it for their own background knowledge. "I am convinced that with careful planning and scaffolds, this is the perfect informational text - even for 4th graders.  The bites just need to be smaller, and processed using good supportive practice in class (Not Round Robin Reading...)."

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