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, January 1, 2018

Looking back

Happy New Year! 

I decided to greet 2018 by featuring some of the older lessons we've created at the Montana Historical Society that I think have stood the test of time. If you have a favorite I've missed, let me know! If you've used one of these in your classroom and it didn't work well for you, I'd love to know that too!

If you only have a day or two, I'd recommend trying on of these lessons/activities:  

Women at Work Lesson Plan: Clothesline Timeline (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. 

Learning from Historical Documents (Grades 6-12) The Montana Historical Society posted primary sources relating to almost every era in Montana history when they created the Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website. They are aggregated on this page. A typed excerpt, a link to the original , a brief context, and a copy of the National Archives Document Analysis Worksheet is posted for each document. 

Digitized Montana Newspapers Online (Grades 4-12) Give your students an hour to immerse themselves in the time period your studying. Have them go shopping. Ask them to find something to do for entertainment. Have them select a headline or article that disturbed, surprised or amused them to share with the class. 

Montana's Charlie Russell (Grades K-8) Choose just one of the ELA lesson plans designed to accompany this packet--for example, "Painting into Poetry" or "Living with Animals."

If you can afford to dedicate a week or more to a deep dive, here are some lessons I'd recommend:

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.
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. 
"Montana's Landless Indians and the Assimilation Era of Federal Indian Policy: A Case of Contradiction" (Grades 10-12) This week-long primary-source based unit designed to introduce high school students to the history of the landless Métis, Cree, and Chippewa Indians in Montana between 1889 and 1916, while giving them an opportunity to do their own guided analysis of historical and primary source materials. In this Common Core-aligned unit, students will wrestle with issues of perspective, power, ideology, and prejudice and will closely examine the role Montana newspapers played in shaping public opinion toward the tribes’ attempts to maintain economic independence and gain a land base and political recognition.

Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things! Connecting Biography to Larger Social Themes Lesson Plan (Grades 8-12) This lesson 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 from the Women’s History Matters website, 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.

Hazel Hunkins, Billings Suffragist: A Primary Source Investigation (Grades 7-12) In this lesson, student historians will analyze photos, letters, newspaper articles, and other sources to learn more about the suffrage movement as experienced by Billings, Montana, native and National Woman's Party activist Hazel Hunkins. 

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