Thursday, November 20, 2014

Indian Ed for All through Photo Analysis Activity plus a Poster Contest

What a pleasant surprise to open my TPS Western Region newsletter and see the article, Primary Sources in Action with Ruth Ferris. A Billings elementary librarian who has collaborated with us on many lesson plans, including Thinking Like a Historian and Montana’s State Flower: A Lesson in Civic Engagement, Ruth was featured for a Gallery Walk she created for Chief Plenty Coups State Park's Day of Honor. For the walk, she chose pictures from several different reservations to show the differences and similarities of the horse culture in Montana.  

According to Ruth, "The pictures selected were all taken during the late 1800s to early 1900s. They represent many of the tribes and reservations in Montana. I then put together a lesson that dealt with photo analysis, and could be completed independently by participants. This lesson met Essential Understanding #1 for Indian Education for All [“There is great diversity among the 12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages, cultures, histories and governments.  Each Nation has a distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes to modern Montana.”].  

Ruth also took a map of Montana that shows the Montana reservations, identified each picture by tribe and posted it near that reservation. "When I used the lesson with my younger students I provided greater scaffolding." 

Friends of Chief Plenty Coups Association has posted Ruth's lesson, "Hoofprints and Heartbeats," as she modified it for elementary students on its site. In addition to the photographs and resources for scaffolding are links to a variety of primary source analysis tools and a tutorial on the why and how of "Gallery Walks."

On a related note: The Indian Education Division of the Office of Public Instruction is conducting a poster contest for middle school students (grades 6, 7, and 8) regarding What Does Indian Education for All Mean to you.  Submissions are due Dec. 22, 2014. Find out more here.

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