Watch a short video about the history of Montana. Students learn about groups of people who developed the state and key events that led to its statehood. Students make a postcard to encourage people to visit Montana.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Montana | Unit 1: Introduction to Montana" which will give students a nuanced introduction to the state of Montana. Students will be introduced to key events and people from Montana, as well as learn how boundaries are established and maintained, and how culture influences one’s perspective and experience in the world.
4.1: Identify and use various sources of information (e.g., artifacts, diaries, photographs, charts, biographies, paintings, architecture, songs) to develop an understanding of the past.
4.2: use a timeline to select, organize, and sequence information describing eras in history.
4.4: identify and describe famous people, important democratic values (e.g., democracy, freedom, justice) symbols (e.g., Montana and U.S. flags, state flower) and holidays, in the history of Montana, American Indian tribes, and the United States.
Helena District 4.1: Identify and use various sources to develop an understanding of the history of Montana (including the Montana Constitution).
- Video: Great States | Montana History
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Montana History graphic organizer
- Books, printouts, or computers with Internet access to research Montana history
- Large index cards
- Colored pencils or thin markers
- Ask students the following: “If you could travel to another era in Montana’s history, which would you choose and why?”
- Then, explain that they will be watching a short video that summarizes Montana’s history. Hand out the Montana History graphic organizer and instruct students to fill out the graphic organizer timeline by adding key words or concepts in the middle column as they watch.
Play the video, Great States | Montana History. [5:07]
- After watching the video, have students work in pairs or small groups to share information on their graphic organizers. Circulate as groups work and/or review the information with the class.
- Ask students to choose one era from Montana’s history about which to do additional research. They will use available library books and online sources either in the classroom or school library. Notes can be taken in the right-hand column of the graphic organizer.
- Then, each student will create and write a period postcard encouraging people to visit Montana. They should decide both who is writing the message and to whom it is being sent. They can use the lined side of the index card for the message and the blank side for an appropriate illustration.