Many Montana history teachers give short shrift to the last 100 years. It's easy to see why. The nineteenth century is exciting. And it's comfortable since this is what most of the history classes we took focused on. In addition, there is an abundance of great resources for teaching Montana history prior to World War I. But just because it is easy, doesn't mean it's right.
In the hopes of luring more you further into the twentieth century, here some resources we created that I think are worth checking out:
Montana Mosaic: 20th-Century People and Events. Aligned to Montana Content Standards and the Essential Understandings, Montana Mosaic explores twentieth-century Montana through twelve brief films. Topics include the Great Depression, the 1972 Constitutional Convention, and the rise of the American Indian Movement.
Reader's Theater: Letters Home from Montanans at War This lesson includes letters from the Civil War to the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Women at Work Lesson Plan: Clothesline Timeline is a primary-source based lesson that asks students to analyze historic photographs to draw conclusions about women and work from the 1870s through the 2010s.
"Mining Sacred Ground: Environment, Culture, and Economic Development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation" focuses on the issues the Northern Cheyenne had to wrestle with in order to decide whether to develop their reservation's coal and coal-bed methane resources.
Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things! Connecting Biography to Larger Social Themes uses essays published on the Women’s History Matters website to help students explore how ordinary people’s lives intersect with larger historical events and trends and to investigate how people’s choices impact their communities. After analyzing two essays on American Indian women, students are asked to conduct interviews with people in their own community to learn about how that person has chosen to shape the world around him or her.
Women and Sports: Tracking Change Over Time asks students to examine how Title IX (a federal civil rights law enacted in 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education) changed girls’ opportunities to participate in school sports.
The Home Fires: Montana and World War II is one of our Hands-on History footlockers. The User Guide (which can be downloaded here) has lesson plans and narratives that can be used with or without ordering the footlocker itself.
For additional resources, I encourage you to look at the "For Educators" pages of the Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website for chapters 16 to 22.