Friday, January 8, 2016

Lesson Plans from the Richest Hills: Teaching Montana's Mining History

Last year the Montana Historical Society took 72 teachers to Bannack, Virginia City, Butte, Anaconda, and Helena as part of  "The Richest Hills," an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop. Participating teachers were required to create lesson plans; we've posted some of our favorites on "The Richest Hills" Digital Edition website--from last summer, but also from previous years.

Highlights from the 2015 workshop include two by Montana teachers:

Dalene Normand, Frenchtown
“Who’s in the Hood?” History, Language Arts & Social Studies Grades 4+. Students will examine the US. Census for a community that grew due to a gold rush in the area and the census of the actual mining area. They will create graphs of the community demographics and compare them.

Phil Leonardi, Corvallis
“Selected Montana Constitutional Comparisons and Imagery: 1889 and 1972” Social Studies, Grades 8-12. Students will compare sections of Montana’s 1889 and 1972 constitutions to investigate how these governing documents were shaped by the era in which they were written and the framer’s interests.

Other great lessons include investigating the minerals that are used to build cell phones (Science, Grades 4-6) and having students imagine the noises of the Industrial Revolution (Social Studies, Grades 5-7).

If you are interested in mining history, I highly recommend spending some time on the  Richest Hills digital edition website. Not only are there fabulous lesson plans, organized by grade level, but there are also links to some of the materials the faculty created for the workshop, including a PowerPoint and PowerPoint script created by Professor Fred Quivik on Butte’s Industrial Landscape that you can share with your class.

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