A Note on Links: When reading back posts, please be aware that links have a short half-life. You can find working links to all of the MHS resources on our Educator Resources Page.
Monday, May 23, 2016
If your travels bring you to Helena this summer, please stop in and say "hello." And of course, don't hesitate to contact me if I can help you as you prepare for your classes next fall: email@example.com.
Do know that there's still time to complete our annual survey and to share your favorite lesson. At this moment, we have received 57 responses--so I'm adding two more prizes: for the 61st and 65th people to take the survey).
NOTE: A few people have told me that the online survey has not worked for them. If you've experienced problems, you can find a copy of the survey as a Word Document here. Download and complete the survey and email it back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will input your responses. I appreciate your taking the extra effort. We really value your feedback and will actively use it to plot next year's course.
P.S. We are still planning on creating a monthly Montana history online PLC, beginning next August. If you teach Montana history and want to participate (or are just curious about learning more) please provide us your name and email by completing this very short questionnaire.)
Thursday, May 19, 2016
I love when this list becomes a place to share ideas and ask for help. Courtney Bake of Fairfield, who will be teaching Montana history in high school for the first time next year, is also requesting advice from those who have taught Montana history at the high school level: "In particular I am looking for: textbooks and materials used, pacing guides, lesson plans, projects--anything that has worked well!" You can contact her at email@example.com.
For anyone planning a Montana history class, at any grade level, I recommend as a first stop the Montana Historical Society's Educator Resources page. (While there, make sure you check out the online professional development, for which you can earn OPI renewal units.) Another good source for ideas is this blog. At the end of each year, I survey teachers and ask for their best lessons. You can see what teachers have recommended in past years here. And you can still submit favorite lesson from this year by completing the survey if you haven't already.
Now--back to the regularly scheduled program--your recommendations of literature to complement the study of Montana history:
Kathy Hoyt wrote: "Have her try Code Talkers by Bruchac. OPI has a great unit already created for that book and there are some great tie-ins for the Montana Crow Talkers.
Helen Eden wrote: "A Bride Goes West, by Nannie Alderson (full text on Internet Archives!) and many of Dorothy Johnson's short stories!" (She's probably thinking of Dorothy Johnson's Westerns, but I love her reminiscences about growing up in Whitefish, which are also available free online at Montana Women's History Matters (scroll down to access.)
Betty Bennett wrote: "Both of these are easy reading and would appeal to boys: The Way, by Joseph Bruchac (This is a wonderful coming-of-age book that includes issues about bullying, heroes, and school safety) and Who Will Tell My Brother? by Marlene Carvell (Carvell also wrote Sweetgrass Basket. This story is also written in poetry diary form and deals with Indian mascots.)
Mikey Sackman wrote: "The Legend of Jimmy Spoon. We learned about early Montana Native Americans, Montana geography, researched traditions and some of the language/vocabulary. This unit was used with struggling readers in the 7th to 9th grade."
Sue Dailey wrote: I used the book Bold Journey by Charles Bohner to go along with my Lewis and Clark unit. It is told from the perspective of a young man of the expedition and is pretty factual but is fiction.
Monday, May 16, 2016
school year! The grant is intended to provide additional resources for creating a dynamic school-wide, professional learning plan for the implementation of Indian Education for All. The goals of the Indian Education for All K-12 Grant include these important components:
1. Each school/district will include in its IEFA policy and/or plan, a process for the selection and inclusion of tribally specific resources relevant to Montana tribes.
2. Design and provide a program of professional development for instructional staff that develops capacity to integrate Indian Education for All throughout the K-12 curriculum.
3. Develop and establish collaborative relationships with American Indian educators, schools and students in order to further cross cultural awareness and understandings.
This K-12 IEFA grant is open to any Montana public school district. Preference will be given to schools which have not had a previous IEFA grant.
Complete proposals are due June 30, 2016.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Here are what first came to my mind, but I'm sure there are things I am missing:
- Birthright: Born to Poetry – A Collection of Montana Indian Poetry
- My Name Is Sepeetza (This is not a Montana story--it is set in Canada--but it is a Salish/Indian boarding school story and a good one--though a female protagonist. We liked it so much that we included a copy in our footlocker, To Learn a New Way.)
- Reader's Theater: Letters Home from Montanans at War (This is not fiction but it would be great for an English class)
- Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings (again, not fiction, but compelling reading and good history connections. Bonus: You might be able to get the author, Ellen Baumler, to come to your class through the Humanities Montana speakers bureau.)
- "Boyhood Recollections: A Narrative of Homestead Days in North Eastern Montana" (a short reminiscence)
- When the Meadowlark Sings. (This is one of my favorite books about growing up in Montana. I don't know middle school well enough to know whether it would resonate for 7th graders and it might cover some of the same ground as Hattie Big Sky, which, I'm embarrassed to say, I have never read--though it might pick up where Hattie Big Sky leaves off (its focus is 1930s-1960s. Also a female protagonist.... Can a middle school teacher or librarian weigh in on this one?)
- Something by Frank Bird Linderman--Plenty Coups? Pretty Shield? Kootenai Why Stories?.
- Copper Camp (excerpts). Could portions of this be used in middle school? Again--I'm not sure. It is not a reliable historical source but it is fun to read, over-the-top folklore about Butte in its heyday, written by WPA writers.
- Young Men and Fire, Norman Maclean (about the Mann Gulch Fire. Billings school librarian Ruth Ferris recommended this one. I love it--but thought it might be too hard. She thinks your 7th graders can handle it.)
- Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog, Sneed Collard (Grades 2-4 picture book. Too young?)
- Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate (Grades 3-5 picture book-so maybe also too young. But I love this story. It has also been made into a play, Paper Candles, that your students could perform as Readers Theater.)
- Yellowstone Kelly: The Memoirs of Luther S. Kelly (Again, per Ruth Ferris: "Kelly is a good writer and I think this is an important
perspective of that time. His book is a very good read. I believe good
readers in 7th grade could handle it." But she recommends selecting excerpts. "Chapter on Wolfing will be controversial.")
P.S. Just after I finished this post, I received a request for a list of Montana books for lower grades as well. So send me the titles of your favorite books for K-6, too! (It would be helpful if you noted whether they were picture or chapter books and approximate grade level--but not essential.)
P.P.P.S. Last week in my post about applying for a travel scholarship to attend the Montana History Conference I had the wrong due date. Scholarship applications are due by 11:59 p.m. September 11, 2016. (But you don't have to wait until the deadline to apply!)
Thursday, May 5, 2016
As past years, we will be offering travel scholarships for both teachers and students.
About the scholarships: Funded by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the scholarships will consist of full conference registration plus a $275 travel/expense reimbursement. All teachers and students in Montana’s high schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply (residents of Hamilton and the vicinity are eligible for the conference registration scholarship but not the travel reimbursement).
Teacher recipients must attend the entire conference, including Thursday’s Educators Workshop and the Saturday events in Stevensville. Student recipients must commit to attending all day Friday and Saturday, including a Saturday tour.
Preference will be given to
- Teachers and students from Montana’s tribal colleges;
- Teachers and students from Montana’s on-reservation high schools;
- Teachers and students from Montana’s community colleges and four-year universities;
- Teachers and students from Montana’s small, rural, under-served communities.
Applying for a scholarship is quick and easy. Apply online.
For more information, contact:
Deb Mitchell, Montana Historical Society
PO Box 201201
Helena MT 59620-1201
P.S. In my last post I mentioned Story Maps. Then I found out that our State Historic Preservation Office has created a Story Map celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Register. It features a property listed in the Register from each of Montana's 56 counties. The information is also available on a deck of playing cards (52 cards plus 4 jokers), free while supplies last.
Note: This post has been updated to correct date scholarship applications are due.