Students watch a video about ethnic diversity in Montana, and learn the benefits of diverse groups of people living in the same communities. They then answer the question, “What does Montana gain from diversity?”
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.
6.4: Identify characteristics of American Indian tribes and other cultural groups in Montana.
Helena District 6.4: Identify characteristics of cultural groups in Montana (American Indians, Irish, Scandinavians, Italians, miners, women, ranchers, etc.).
- Video: Montana Mosaic: Ethnic Diversity in Montana
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Ethnic Diversity handout
Tell students they will be watching a video about the importance of diversity in communities. Explain to students that Montana is a state full of immigrants and their descendants. There are many reasons people immigrate to Montana. Many immigrants and their descendants who stayed in Montana continue their ethnic traditions.
Distribute the Ethnic Diversity handout to students. Instruct students to take notes on the benefits of ethnic diversity in Montana.
Play the video, Montana Mosaic: Ethnic Diversity in Montana. [14:30] [Note: If your students have done Unit 6, Activity 5, you can skip 4:04–9:10.]
Have students answer questions on the handout.
Mining, trapping, logging, agriculture, and political unrest in other parts of the world are some of the reasons people move to Montana. [throughout]
Hard workers who worked in Montana industries (i.e., Finns were timbermen, Slavs were hard rock miners, Irish and English took the municipal rolls, Scandinavian and Eastern European people homesteaded, Mennonite, Hutterite, and Amish started successful colonies, Mexican-American and German families harvested sugar beets). [throughout]
Through celebrations, The Festival of Nations [2:50]
The United States recruited Hmong in Laos as fighters and smoke jumpers in the Vietnam War. Many Hmong people were CIA-trained guerrilla fighters who fought along with US troops during the Vietnam War. When the United States withdrew from Vietnam, they promised the Hmong a place in America. Many chose Montana because its terrain was similar to their villages. [10:16–12:50]