I wrote out some preliminary thoughts on the topic in 2014, which you can find here. I gave it another go recently--this time with the goal of fitting the curriculum into a quarter. I'm not completely satisfied with what I came up with--and would probably write a completely different plan, featuring different resources next week--but I thought some of you might find it useful as a starting point. I'd love to hear what you think--even if it's outrage that I gave short shrift to your favorite Montana history topic (war of the Copper Kings, anyone?).
I'd love a conversation around this--and to be able to share what you are doing with other teachers across the state who are trying to design their elementary Montana history units, so please write me (and attach your curriculum maps). I'll use what you send to inform our work on the long-awaited fourth grade textbook. I'll also respond with any lesson plans/resources I know of on the topics you think need to be emphasized that aren't listed below. Deal?
By the way, when I refer below to footlockers, I'm referring to our Hands-on History footlocker program. Even if you can't order a footlocker to come to your classroom, I highly recommend you look at the User Guides, which include fourth-grade level narratives and lesson plans. We have 21 different titles--only a few are listed below.
Week 1: Montana Geography
- Mapping Montana: A-Z
- Tribes and reservations of Montana:
o Video: Introducing the First Nations of Montana to the World, http://visitmt.com/places_to_go/indian_nations/
o Sovereignty: Use the Rez We Live On videos: http://therezweliveon.com/
o Have someone from nearby tribes come talk to class about Indians today (including sovereignty, culture, language)
Week 2: Pre and early contact period (could easily be expanded to two weeks)
- Neither Empty Nor Unknown Lesson Plan
- Something on infectious disease/small pox (maybe just projecting pages from Montana: Stories of the Land Chapter 3 and Chapter 5 on a smart board, reading some quotes, looking at the pictures)
- “The Winter Count: Marking Time” PowerPoint lesson from “The Art of Storytelling: Plains Indian Perspectives.”
Week 3: Treaties and the creation of reservations
- Summarize and discuss Chapter 7 of Montana: Stories of the Land (project it on a smart board, reading some quotes, looking at the pictures)
- Analyzing the Hellgate Treaty: Sean Orr has a great exercise that engages 5th graders in actually reading the Hell Gate Treaty: https://www.arleeschools.org/cms/lib/MT01001201/Centricity/Domain/84/Hellgate_Treaty_Unit_Shawn_final.pdf
- Incredible shrinking reservation: Use interactive map of Blackfeet Reservation from Trail Tribes: https://www.trailtribes.org/greatfalls/shrinking-reservation.htm
Week 4: The Gold Rush (OR Cattle and the Open Range)
- Life in a gold camp: lecture based on textbook (plus projecting some pages to show pictures/read quotes)
- Panning for Gold (instructions in “Gold, Silver, and Coal—Oh My!” footlocker)
- “What Can I Buy, What could Mary Buy,” posted as part of our study guide for Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan.
- (Possible literature connection/read aloud: Girl from the Gulches)
Week 4: Cattle and the Open Range (OR Gold Rush—or add a week and do both)
- Woolies and Winnies: The Sheep and Cattle Industry in Montana (footlocker)
- Montana’s Charlie Russell Packet
- Video: Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life
- Draw on local resources: have rancher come talk about the work? Field trip to a ranch?
Week 5: Coming to Montana: Immigrants from around the World
- "Railroads Transform Montana": A PowerPoint Lesson on railroads. I really love this interactive PowerPoint that talks about how trains changed everyday life. (1 day)
- Student Narrative from Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World footlocker
- Should I Stay or Should I Go (from Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World footlocker)
- No Smoking Lesson (Butte Mines) (from Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World footlocker)
- Muffin Mining Reclamation (from Gold, Silver, and Coal footlocker)
- Lure of Free Land (from Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World footlocker)
- Using Census Data to Study Immigration (from Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World footlocker)
- Possible literature connection/read aloud: Hattie Big Sky
Week 6: Boarding school/allotment Era (can shorten to 3 days)
- Tammy Elser’s unit on As Long As the Rivers Flow http://opi.mt.gov/pdf/IndianEd/Search/Language%20Arts/Gr4-8_RiversFlow.pdf.
- Montana Mosaic: Chapter 4, "Dislocation/Relocation" (17 minutes) and Chapter 2 "Homesteading" (17 minutes) of Montana Mosaic: 20th Century People and Events. (Check your library. OPI donated a copy of this DVD to every public school in Montana. Episodes are also available as streaming video.)
- American Indian Homelands: Matters of Truth, Honor and Dignity - Immemorial, Indian Land Tenure Foundation - 78 minutes (An 11-minute excerpt is posted on the OPI website.) (Be patient. The video, "Excerpts from American Indian Homelands," is slow to load.)
- Supplement with information from Chapter 11, Montana: Stories of the Land: (projecting some pages to show pictures/read quotes)
Week 7: World War I (can shorten to 3 days)
- Montana and the Great War Lesson plan (5-8) http://mhs.mt.gov/education/wwi
- Possible literature connection/read aloud: Hattie Big Sky
Week 8: Modern Montana
- Women and Sports: Tracking Change Over Time (Designed for grades 4-8) In this lesson aligned to both Common Core ELA and Math standards, students learn about 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 by collecting and analyzing the data to look at change in women’s sports participation over time. (You’ll need to start this in week 6 or 7 to make sure students have time to collect data.)
P.S. Have you taken the year-end survey yet? Don't delay!