Monday, December 22, 2014

More Facebook Finds: Influential Americans, the Montana Authors Project, and Indigenous Music Videos

Remember a few weeks ago, when I talked about Facebook as a source for inspiration and work-related material?

Here are a few things that have popped up on my feed lately:

National History Day Project Ideas 

The Atlantic sponsored a link to this article on the 100 most influential figures in American history. This would be great for students looking for topics to compete in this year's National History Day, the theme of which is "Leadership and Legacy in History." (For more on National History Day in Montana see this post about itvisit the Montana Historical Society’s NHD page or visit the Montana State NHD page.)

Montana Authors Project Map

Humanities Montana is asking for input on which author it should add next to its fabulous Montana Authors Project Map.  Right now the map features Mary Clearman Blew, A. B. Guthrie, Judy Blunt, James Welch, Debra Magpie Earling, Norman Maclean, Richard Hugo, D'Arcy McNickle, Ivan Doig, and Andrew Garcia. If you teach Montana literature (or just like it) and haven't played around with this map, stop reading and go there now! If you have an author you'd like to see added to the map, send Humanities Montana an email or contact them on their Facebook page.

Indian Education for All

This link to an article about the Real Life Indian photo project came from the National Museum of the American Indian's Facebook page: " 'Real Life Indian' Photo Project Geared to Defeat All Those Stereotypes". It looks as if the project accepts outside submissions including student work!
And finally, for a more enjoyable winter break, I give you for your listening pleasure the Best Indigenous Music Videos of 2014. My own personal favorites are (at number 4) A Tribe Called Red: "Sisters" and (at number 3) Supaman: "Prayer Loop Song." (Added bonus: Supaman is from from the Crow Reservation.) I think these music videos are a powerful way to remind students that Indians do NOT live only in museums, that tribal cultures are alive, and that, like all cultures, they adapt and change over time.

Need more of a rationale to bring some of this music back to your classroom (as is age/school appropriate)? How about Essential Understanding #2: "There is great diversity among individual American Indians as identity is developed, defined and redefined by entities, organizations and people. A continuum of Indian identity, unique to each individual, ranges from assimilated to traditional. There is no generic American Indian."

Best wishes for a merry Christmas--and a joyous new year.

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