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        3-5, 13+

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        Montana | Activity 8.2: A Governmental Seal for Montana

        Students watch a video about the history of Montana’s government. They learn about the state seal and the significance of each of its symbols. They then create a seal that represents the governmental structure of Montana, including its tribal governments.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about the history of Montana’s government. They learn about the state seal and the significance of each of its symbols. They then create a seal that represents the governmental structure of Montana, including its tribal governments.

        This lesson is part of "Great States: Unit 8: State Government & Constitution" which gives students the opportunity to explore some unique features of Montana’s politics and government, both in the past and today.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards:

        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. 

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Introduce the concept of symbols by asking students for the symbols for words such as “love,” “dollar,” “peace.” Clarify that symbols are abstract representations of ideas and concepts; images are visual likenesses of actual things.
        2. Then, project the state seal. 

        3. Ask students to identify the images and symbols on the state seal. Point out that Montana’s state seal emphasizes the geographical features of Montana; no people are shown in the seal. Ask what the shovel, pick, and plow might symbolize (mining and farming). Indicate that these are economic symbols of Montana.
        4. Tell students they will be viewing a short video about Montana’s government. They should take notes about the major characteristics of Montana’s government structure as they watch.

          Play the video, Great States | Montana Government [3:28]



        5. After reviewing the main points of the film, instruct students to create a different state seal for Montana: one that emphasizes governmental structure. They should also write an updated state motto: one that emphasizes Montana’s democratic values (e.g., democracy, freedom, justice) as evident in the structure of Montana’s government. They can use a mix of symbols and images in their design. They should make sure to represent Montana’s tribal governments in their seals.

        For more on Montana’s state seal, click here: Montana Secretary of State: About the State Seal.

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