Students watch a video on the Fort Peck dam, and learn about dam construction in Montana. They then answer questions about the positive and negative impacts of dams.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Montana | Unit 6: Settlement & Migration to Montana," a study of how and why Montana attracted diverse settlement.
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.
4.5: Identify and illustrate how technologies have impacted the course of history (e.g., energy, transportation, communications).
4.6: Recognize that people view and report historical events differently.
Helena District 4.6: Compare and contrast different points of view in the history of Montana.
- Video: Fort Peck Dam: Homestead to Waterway
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Fort Peck Dam handout
Tell students they will be watching a video that discusses the construction of the Fort Peck dam during the Great Depression. Explain that the dam was five times larger than any other dam at the time, and workers and their families migrated to Valley County for the opportunity to work on the project.
Distribute the Fort Peck Dam handout to students. Instruct them to take notes about the positive and negative effects of the dam.
Play the video, Fort Peck Dam: Homestead to Waterway. [4:16]
Have students answer questions on the handout.
Water reservoir, new jobs, able to sell failing farms [Open, 0:35, 4:00]
Homesteaders had to give up their land, low compensation for land [2:35]
Considered her compensation unfair and unjust [3:13]
For an extension activity for older students, review the support materials on the video page.