Thursday, September 10, 2015

IEFA Resources at Your Fingertips

Looking for good IEFA lesson plans and curricular material? Check your school library. The Indian Education Division of the Montana Office of Public Instruction has donated many, many resources to public school libraries across the state. Most recently, we teamed up with OPI to print and donate copies of the lesson plan "Montana's Landless Indians and the Assimilation Era of Federal Indian Policy: A Case of Contradictions" to all public high school libraries. (You can also view and download the unit here.)

This truly eye-opening unit focuses on the history of landless Métis, Chippewa, and Cree in Montana between 1889 and 1916. The lessons offers an unprecedented window into the experiences of Montana’s landless Indians, exposing tremendous racism and harshness, but also the enduring humanity of a people. 

What I like best about this unit is that it provides valuable information while offering students an opportunity to conduct guided analyses of historical and primary source materials. Some of the primary sources reproduced in this unit are shocking (see my earlier posts, Teaching Sensitive Content, for more detail)--but they tell a story we need to face head on to understand Montana's history and to shape Montana's future. 

"Montana's Landless Indians" is designed for high school but OPI has donated resources and lesson plans appropriate for all grades and covering many different topics. They include illustrated children's stories (for example, Story of Grizzly Bear Looking Up), model lesson plans (for example, Model Teaching Unit Language Arts – Middle School Level for Joseph Bruchac’s Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, by Justine Jam; Montana Office of Public Instruction, 2010),  and DVDs (for example, Bull Trout's Gift, Field Journal and Explore the River. Find the complete list here

Of course, I also encourage you to check out all of our IEFA-related lesson plans, all of which are available for free online as downloadable pdfs, and most of which ask students to analyze primary sources and considering points of view as they explore a topic. 

P.S. Yesterday Colet Bartow of OPI and I featured the historical society's hands-on history footlockers durin gthe first "Digital History Blast Google Hangout." If you missed it and are curious about our footlocker program you can find the recording here. One cool thing is that even the recorded program is interactive--you can still pose questions (though it will take a few days to get answers) and click through on the links. Join Deb and Colet next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. for the second installment of the Montana History Digital Blast: Art Integration and Charlie Russell. 

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