Monday, September 21, 2015

Favorite High School Lesson Plans

Over the last few weeks I have shared elementary and middle school teachers'answers to the following prompt: “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.” As promised, here are the answers we received from high school teachers to the same question. [I’ve added links and a few comments in brackets.] 

Betty Bennett, who teaches at Sentinel High School in Missoula, wrote: “The Art of Storytelling--both the Winter Counts and Ledger Art projects were great, but I want to set them up better.” [Find these here: http://mhs.mt.gov/education/PictographicArt]

“I will do more with the Boarding School Era. This isn't a stand alone unit, but I wish it were.  I have taken parts of several units and will combine them with information from a recent class I took on line.  I used several lessons from the SweetgrassBasket unit.” 

Chris Fisk from Butte High School has his students participate in a bison harvest. He also has Tim Ryan work with students on traditional technology and take them to places the Salish traditionally used near Butte, including Warm Springs Mound He writes that “Tim is wonderful for connecting to the students.”

Shannon Horton of Columbus High School wrote: “English 11 Project with US History cross-over:
We researched Native American military veterans. Each student chose a veteran to research and upon which to focus a poster display. The posters included information about the veteran's service and the veteran's tribe. I have done this project for 2 years and will definitely keep it. Veterans of all types are deserving of honor and recognition, and this is a great way to highlight the service of Native American citizens to our country's history.”

Some people chose to comment anonymously:

“The 'Montana Women at Work Lesson Plan:Clothesline Timeline' lesson from the Historical Society's website. I happened to stumble upon it and love it! The students really got into analyzing the photos and I made it a competition to see which teams could most accurately place the pictures in a decade. Lots of fun!”

“Montana Women's history biography” [perhaps this refers to our lesson plan “Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things” or perhaps the teacher has a different project she does with resources from Montana Women's History Matters]

“Indian poetry unit” [possibly using Birthright: Born to PoetryA Collection of Montana Indian Poetry.] 

“We tried to simulate a traditional Native American game, a combination of hockey and lacrosse.”  

“In our high school (Skyview in Billings)  we plan to CELEBRATE MONTANA during the entire month of November next school year, with speakers in every English and Social Studies class on one day, an all-school assembly with Supaman and a local Native American children's dance group on another day, and library displays and classroom projects happening all month.”

“Using pages from the Census, Sanborn maps and the local history book "Stumptown to Skitown"  students explore what Whitefish was like 100 years ago.”

“I really like the lesson I teach using the John Gast painting "American Progress" to teach the students the concept of Manifest Destiny.” [I don’t know what lesson plan this teacher uses, but OPI has a model lesson plan on the subject.] 

Do you have a favorite lesson you'd like to share? It is not too late. Email information to mkohl@mt.gov and I'll share it in a future post.

P.S.Tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/22) at 4:30 will be our third Montana History Digital Blast! Join me to explore the Montana Stories of the Land Textbook or go to the Montana History Digital Blast YouTube channel to watch past episodes. 

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