Thursday, December 29, 2016

These are a few of my favorite things

The last couple of weeks I've been publishing thematic lists of old blog posts that I thought might still be interesting to folks (one focused on elementary classrooms, and a second on teaching strategies.) Today I thought I'd turn from the blog to our Educator Resources page to feature a few of my favorite older, and sometimes overlooked, lessons and resources.

Montana Women at Work: Clothesline Timeline Lesson Plan (Designed for grades 4-12) This primary-source based lesson asks students to analyze historic photographs to draw conclusions about women and work from the 1870s through the 2010s. Students will discover that Montana women have always worked, but that discrimination, cultural expectations, and changing technology have influenced the types of work women undertook.

Resources for Montana History Research Projects: This information is not gathered neatly in one place--but we've created a number of lists of suggested topics--with links to more information--that would be useful for students conducting research projects
  • First is our list of Montana History Topics for National History Day. We revise this list each year to match the theme--but your students don't have to be working on NHD projects for this list to be useful. For each topic we include a list of a few primary and secondary sources (including internet sources) to get students started on their research. 
  • Resilience: Stories of Montana Indian Women is a booklet that the Montana Office of Public Instruction published as a PDF for download. It features profiles of Indian women, originally created for the Montana Historical Society's Women's History Matters Project. The short online essays on Women's History Matters provide another rich starting point--especially since each comes with a bibliography.

Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan Study Guide (Designed for students 6-10). This study guide includes lesson plans, vocabulary, chapter summaries and questions, alignment to the Common Core, and other information to facilitate classroom use of Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan, as told to Margaret Ronan, edited by Ellen Baumler. Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, this highly readable 222-page memoir details Mary Sheehan Ronan’s journey across the Great Plains, her childhood on the Colorado and Montana mining frontiers, her ascent to young womanhood in Southern California, her return to Montana as a young bride, and her life on the Flathead Indian Reservation as the wife of an Indian agent. Book One, which provides a child’s-eye view of the mining frontier, is available to download as a PDF (Lexile Level 1180L). Classroom sets of Girl from the Gulches can be purchased from the Montana Historical Society Museum Store by calling toll free 1-800-243-9900. 

Reader's Theater: Letters Home from Montanans at War (Designed for 7th-12th). This three-to-five period unit asks students to work in groups to read and interpret letters written by soldiers at war, from the Civil War to the Operation Iraqi Freedom. After engaging in close reading and conducting research to interpret the letters, they will perform the letters as reader’s theater.

"Native American Trade Routes and the Barter Economy" includes two learning activities intended designed to complement Chapter 2 of the Montana: Stories of the Land textbook. Designed for use in grades seven through nine, Activity One, "Resources and Routes," focuses primarily on mapping pre-contact trade routes, with a special emphasis on Montana. Activity Two, "Trading Times," asks students to simulate the process through which various products from different regional tribes were bartered and disseminated to gain a better understanding of pre-contact barter economy and how it compares with the modern-day cash economy.
Hands-on History Footlockers: I've recently touted our new footlockers (like the Original Governor's Mansion or the redesigned Coming to Montana) but some of the older titles are great too. Two particular favorites of mine are Stones and Boneswhich explores the earliest evidence of Montana's human history; and  The Home Fires: Montana and World War II, which describes aspects of everyday life in Montana during the 1941-1945 war years. You can see the complete list of footlockers and find information on how to order them here

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