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        Montana | Activity 6.5: The Mexican-American Community in Montana

        Students watch a video about the ethnic diversity of migrants to Montana. They learn about the Mexican community in Montana, and create a timeline of Mexican-American migration in Montana.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about the ethnic diversity of migrants to Montana. They learn about the Mexican community in Montana, and create a timeline of Mexican-American migration in Montana.

        This lesson is part of "Great States: Montana | Unit 6: Settlement & Migration to Montana," a study of how and why Montana attracted diverse settlement.

        Time Allotment

        30 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        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.

        6.4: Identify characteristics of American Indian tribes and other cultural groups in Montana.

        Supplemental Standards:

        Helena District 4.2: Use a timeline to select, sequence, and organize information for describing Montana history.

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Tell students they will be watching a video about why different communities came to settle in Montana. Explain to students that there is a Mexican-American community in Montana that has stayed from the early days of the state. Sugar beet production drew Mexican workers to Montana. They will learn more in the video.

        1. Distribute The Mexican-American Community in Montana Timeline handout to students. Instruct students to pay attention to the sequence of events of the Mexican-Americans’ migration to Montana. If needed, they can take notes on the back of the handout.

        1. Play the video, Montana Mosaic: Ethnic Diversity – Migrants Make Montana Produce. [5:12] Note for teachers: if worried about age-level appropriateness due to racial tension topics, the video can be stopped at 3:36. The timeline activity will not be affected.

        1. As a class discussion, ask the following questions:

          1. What drew Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to Montana?

          2. Due to discrimination, what percentage of Mexican immigrants stayed through the first winter?

        1. Instruct students to complete a timeline using the materials on the handout. Have students cut the events into strips, reorganize in chronological order, and paste them onto construction paper.

        Answer Key

          1. Recruiters would go to their communities and tell them of jobs in sugar beet farming [1:30]

          2. 25% [2:05]

        1. This is the correct order of the events shown in the video:

          1. Hispanic explorers, miners, trappers, and vaqueros travel to Montana

          2. Expanding US economy brings missions to Montana

          3. 1,000 Mexican-Americans move to the Yellowstone Valley

          4. Great Western brings 1,000s of Mexicans and Germans to harvest sugar beets

          5. Germans remain in Montana through the winter

          6. Great Western invests in Mexican Colonias

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