Students collect materials outside of class to create a collage about Montana “past and present.” By creating a collage that incorporates images representing key state symbols, cultural traditions, and past ways of life, students learn how the past has impacted the present.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Unit 10: Modern Montana." This concluding unit will ask students to determine how Montana compares to other states, and how it has become the state it is today.
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.
6.2: Describe ways in which expressions of culture influence people (e.g., language, spirituality, stories, folktales, music, art, dance).
Helena District 4.4: Identify state symbols; identify famous Montanans; identify and describe American Indian values, holidays, and symbols relating to Montana’s tribal heritage.
- Poster board
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Relevant magazines and clip art
- Printer (optional)
Explain to students that while many aspects of daily life in Montana have changed over the past 100 years or so, some things have survived the test of time. Traditions, language, foods, and art from the past are related to the state’s culture and are precious to many people. Ask students, “How is Montana’s past reflected in the present?” Have them consider the state’s symbols, culture groups, festivals, and traditions when performing this activity in order to answer this question. Have students collect materials outside of class that have images pertinent to Montana’s past and present. These can include images from magazines, postcards, historic images from the Internet, and their own drawings.
Provide supplies for creating a collage: colored pencils/markers, scissors, glue, and poster board.
Instruct students divide their poster board in half and label one side “past,” and the other “present.” Have students create a collage from their collected materials. Encourage students to use state symbols, cultural traditions, and past ways of life.
As time allows, have students share what they included in their collages. Ask: Which items from the past are “gone forever?” Which items from the present have their origin, at least in part, in the past?
For more on the history of Montana, including state symbols, cultures, and key groups of people, see our full Montana curriculum.