Students watch a video about the Constitution of the state of Montana. They discover how certain provisions of the constitution go above and beyond the federal Constitution, and answer questions about the video.
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.
2.4: Explain how governments provide for the needs and wants of people by establishing order and security and managing conflict.
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.
Helena District 2.4: Explain how Montana state government works to provide for the needs and wants of its citizens.
Helena District 4.1: Identify and use various sources to develop an understanding of the history of Montana (including the Montana Constitution).
- Video: Montana Mosaic: A Quiet Revolution
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Montana’s State Constitution handout
Explain that Montana’s 1972 Constitution is called one of the most progressive constitutions in the United States, going beyond the federal Constitution in certain ways. The original Montana State Constitution dates from 1889. The new one was written in 1972 after a political revolution during the 1960s and 1970s. Tell students they will watch a video that provides more information on the Montana State Constitution.
Disperse the Montana’s State Constitution handout to students. Instruct students to take notes on the unique features of the Montana State Constitution and the residents it represents as they watch the video.
Play the video, Montana Mosaic: A Quiet Revolution. [4:16]
Ask students, what do you think is meant by the phrase, “rugged individualism?”
Have students complete the questions in the handout.
Rugged individualism is a trait of Montanans steeped in frontier nostalgia. Inhabitants had to be tough, learn to tame the land, and survive the extreme weather.
The Montana State Constitution included protection and recognition of American Indian/Native American heritage [2:45]
Individual privacy and equality, environmental protections [2:54]
Hand-selected, rugged individualists, hardened by nature, exclusive [1:15]