We are delighted to unveil the most recent footlocker we've revised: Montana State Symbols. In this case, we've changed almost everything, including the title (the old footlocker was called "Treasure Chest: A Look at the Montana State Symbols"). We've added lots of new objects, including tribal nations' flags, gemstones, grizzly bear fur, a mounted mourning cloak butterfly, and a sample of Scobey soil (our newest state symbol).
We've also included nine new lessons:
- Lesson 1, "I Have, Who Has," offers an introduction to Montana's state symbols through a fast-paced game.
- Lesson 2, "Tribal Seals and Flags," is based entirely on OPI's Indian Education Division's unit Crossing Boundaries through Art: Seals of Montana Tribal Nations.
- Lesson 3, "State Seal and Flag," offers students an opportunity to redesign the state flag after learning about the principles of flag design.
- Lesson 4, "Montana's State Songs," has students analyzing the state song, melody, and lullaby before writing their own songs celebrating Montana.
- Lesson 5, "Montana's State Animal," has two parts. Part 1 teaches students to identify grizzly bears and be safe around all bears. Part 2 asks them to contrast Chief Plenty Coups' and Captain Meriwether Lewis's perspectives on grizzlies.
- Lesson 6, "Gift of the Bitterroot," uses a beautifully illustrated traditional story to learn about the importance of Montana's state flower to the Salish and Pend d'Oreille people.
- Lesson 7, "The Montana State Fossil," has students research, campaign, and then vote for a class fossil. In so doing they won't just learn about Montana's rich fossil finds, they'll also gain a thorough understanding of the election process. (Perfect for this November!)
- Lesson 8, "Learning about Montana Sapphires," shares information that will surprise and delight your class gem hounds
- Lesson 9, "Creating a Museum of Montana Symbols," provides a step-by-step guide to creating a classroom exhibit on Montana's state symbols to share with parents or other classes.
1. It's reading and writing intensive. I took a class from reading specialist Tammy Elser two summers ago and we integrated many of the strategies I learned from her into these lesson plans, including "write your way in/write your way out," "hosting a tea party," and having students create picture summaries of complex passages.
2. The lesson plans are classroom tested and much improved from the feedback we received. My thanks to all who answered my call for guinea pigs and took the time to write such thoughtful evaluations.
3. You can do seven of the lesson plans without ordering the trunk. We know not everyone can order this footlocker who'd like to use it. Issues of schedule and budget get in the way (footlockers are free, except for shipping to the next venue, but that's still a cost.) That's why we put as many of the resources (including the PowerPoints and, of course, the lesson plans) online as we could--so that teachers who can't get the footlocker can still use the material.
4. The objects in the footlocker are so fabulous, you will want to order it anyway. This footlocker is object rich. The sapphire exhibit, donated to us by Fine Gems International, and the life-size grizzly bear paw cast are my favorite objects, but students will also love the stuffed animals (a trout and a meadowlark, whose sings its song when pressed), and the model of the Maiasaura nest.
Check out the User Guide and then submit your reservation. And let us know what you think of the new and (hopefully) improved product. We love hearing from you.