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Friday, January 31, 2014

Gilder Lehrman 2014 Summer Teaching Seminars

The deadline for applying for Gilder Lehrman 2014 Summer Teaching Seminars is February 14.

These weeklong seminars cover major topics in American history (e.g., Civil War, American Revolution, Civil Rights Movement, Cold War, etc.) and are offered at universities around the country. This year, one will be held right here in Montana, at UM: "Lewis and Clark: An American Epic," led by Professor Elliot West.

"The seminar will be based at the University of Montana in Missoula, close to where the Corps began its crossing of the Bitterroot Mountains. Teachers will visit some of the sites of the journey and will follow part of its route during one of the expedition’s most critical and harrowing passages. The seminar will pay particular attention to encounters with Indian peoples and their accounts of those meetings, exploring how Lewis and Clark and their Indian counterparts regarded (and often misunderstood) one another. With the help of several guest speakers we will study Lewis and Clark’s contributions—to science, exploration, and diplomacy—as well as their failures. More broadly, we will look at the expedition as the convergence of peoples at a time of great global change, explore some of the many native cultures in western North America, and see this famous national event in the context of global exploration. And we will consider what the expedition can tell us about America at the opening of the nineteenth century—its values and aspirations, the goals of its leaders as they looked westward, the perceptions of native peoples and their place in the expanding nation, and the emerging vision of an empire reaching from sea to sea."

Participants will reimbursed for travel expenses up to $400 upon completion of the seminar. Graduate credits are available.

Find application information here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference, February 24-25, 2014

There is still time to register for the 8th Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference, February 24-25, 2014, Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula. It is only $35 and they have an exciting line up this year! Among the presentations are "Analyzing Historic Images to Meet MCCS (7‐12)" by Montana Historical Society Program Specialist Deb Mitchell and "Symbol and Identity: Visual Arts Lesson (K‐6)" by Stevensville art teacher Marina Weatherly. And Jack Gladstone will be presenting "Charlie Russell's Montana."

Find out what is happening each day at the conference.

Register here by February 17.

And if you attend, make sure to check out the Montana Historical Society's display in the exhibit hall.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World

The Montana Historical Society’s Hands-on History Footlockers are among our most popular educational resources. Designed for fourth grade—but used successfully in both lower elementary, middle school, and high school classrooms—these thematic "traveling trunks" focus on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the fur-trading and mining industries, to Indian life during the reservation period and today. (Learn more here).

But even a popular product can be improved—and with that goal in mind, my colleague Deb Mitchell and I have been working for over a year to produce a new hands-on history footlocker, "Coming to Montana: Immigrants from around the World." 

The traveling trunk bears the same name as its predecessor—but it has all new lesson plans and is packed with new, intriguing objects and photographs, including

  • a Hmong story cloth 
  • an example of Norwegian Hardanger 
  • a Swedish rosette 
  • a Mexican tortilla press 
  • a Chinese Mah Jong set 
  • a Hutterite dress 
  • Basque bones and more. 

We think your students will love working with the objects we’ve gathered, and we’ve created two lesson plans tied directly to the objects included in the footlocker.

At the same time, we’re aware that not every teacher will be able to order the physical footlocker. So we worked hard to digitize as much as possible—the PowerPoints, two-dimensional primary source documents and photographs, and the Lesson Plans are all available online to download free of charge. In fact, eleven of the fourteen lesson plans included in the User Guide can be conducted WITHOUT ordering the trunk—and five of those are primary source-based.

Aligned to the ELA Common Core and Montana State Standards for Social Studies the lesson plans were designed for fourth grade but many can be adapted to higher or lower grades. In creating the lessons, we worked from the both standards and the following essential understandings:

  1. Montana was historically a very diverse place. 
  2. Both push factors and pull factors influenced immigration decisions. 
  3. Immigrants brought their culture, ideas, and traditions with them. When they arrived in Montana, they adapted and assimilated. They chose to let go of some beliefs and traditions, while preserving and passing down others. 
  4. People across cultures share commonalities. We should recognize similarities and celebrate differences. We should work together to make sure everyone is accepted.
  5. Primary sources, objects, photographs and oral histories can all help us learn about the past.
  6. It is important to study the interaction between large historic events (like wars, economic shifts, or technological development) and the lives and choices of ordinary people.

As you can probably tell, I think this new footlocker is dynamite, but what matters is what you—and your students—think. I hope you’ll check out the User Guide and try some of the lesson plans. Even better, order the footlocker and give it a spin.

Then let me know what you liked and where you think there is room for improvement. Many of the changes we made to this footlocker were in response to feedback we received from footlocker users. Those suggestions markedly improved the trunk. We’ll refer to any feedback we get on this new trunk information as we move forward to improve other footlockers.

Friday, January 24, 2014

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School and College Educators

This is the time of year when I wish I were a classroom teacher so I could apply to an NEH Summer Program in the Humanities. Each year, NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for school, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,900 help cover expenses for these one- to five-week programs.

The variety is amazing. You can learn about Cantebury Tales in London or Communism in American life in Atlanta. Here are a few titles from the long list of intriguing courses:
  • “Atomic West, Atomic World,”  Richland, WA
  • “From Immigrants to Citizens: Asian Pacific Americans in the Northwest,”Seattle, WA
  • “The Rochester Reform Trail: Women’s Rights, Religion, and Abolition on the Genesee River and Erie Canal,” Rochester, NY
  • “Beyond the Trail of Tears: A View from the Cherokee Homeland,” Cullowhee, NC
  • “Exploring the Past: Archaeology in the Upper Mississippi River Valley,”  La Crosse, WI


Applications are due March 4. Visit http://www.neh.gov/divisions/education/summer-programs for more information.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Montana Women's History Articles to Use in the Classroom

Last June, I surveyed teachers about which articles on Montana women's history published in Montana The Magazine of Western History they would be most likely to use with their students. At the time, we planned to post a selection of articles, along with discussion questions, as part of our 2014 Women's History Matters project. (Learn more about that project here.)

Plans changed, and instead of selecting a few articles and creating discussion guides, we decided to post EVERY article about women published in Montana The Magazine of Western History (over 130 of them) for folks to download for free. But I still thought it would be useful to share the list of favorites from the survey. I've listed the articles below from the top vote-getter (at 23 votes) to bottom vote-getter (at 4 votes).

I also want to ask for your help. If you ever teach any of these articles and develop discussion questions or other class activities/lesson plans for them, would you share them with me so I can share them with other teachers? Send your material to mkohl@mt.gov.

And now without further ado, here are your fellow teachers' choices of most teachable women's history articles from Montana The Magazine of Western History:
  • 'We Are Women Irish’: Gender, Class, Religious, and Ethnic Identity in Anaconda, Montana.” (Winter 1994): 28-41. Download here.
  • “‘Peace Is a Woman’s Job . . .’ Jeannette Rankin and American Foreign Policy (Winter 1980): 28-41 (part 1) Download here and (Spring 1980): 38-53 (part 2) Download here.
  • “Women’s Role in Montana Agriculture: ‘You Had to Make Every Minute Count.’”Montana The Magazine of Western History 38, no. 4 (Autumn 1988): 50-61. Download here.
  • “Mother Was Shocked [a firsthand account of working for suffrage].” Montana The Magazine of Western History 24, no. 3 (Summer 1974): 70-79. Download here.
  • “World Champions: The 1904 Girls’ Basketball Team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 51, no. 4 (Winter 2001): 2-25. Download here.
  • “Children of the Hill: Situating Children in Butte’s History.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 62, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 23-46. Download here.
  • Dying in the West Part 1: Hospitals and Health Care in Montana and Alberta, 1880-1950” (Autumn 2009): 25-45 Download here and “Dying in the West Part 2: Caregiving in the Home and the Death of Daniel Slayton.” (Winter 2009): 3-23. Download here
  • “Hunger: A Memoir of Growing Up in Northeastern Montana.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 60, no. 3 (Autumn 2010): 38-53.Download here.
  • “Justice as an Afterthought: Women and the Montana Prison System.” Download here
  • “The Wobblies and Montana’s Garden City.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 21, no. 4 (Autumn 1971): 18-30. Download here.
  • “‘And All That Jazz’: Changing Manners and Morals in Butte after World War I.” Download here.
  • “Abortion in the Old West: The Trials of Dr. Edwin S. Kellogg of Helena, Montana.” Download here.
  • “Crossing the Gender Line: Ella L. Knowles, Montana’s First Woman Lawyer.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 32, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 64-75. Download here.
  • “Frieda and Belle Fligelman: A Frontier-City Girlhood in the 1890s.”Montana The Magazine of Western History 32, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 85-92. Download here.
  • “From Hill 57 to Capitol Hill: ‘Making the Sparks Fly’: Sister Providencia Tolan’s Drive on Behalf of Montana’s Off-Reservation Indians, 1950-1970.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 43, no. 3 (Summer 1993):16-29. Download here.
  • “My Years as Montana’s First Woman State Senator.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 39, no. 1 (Winter 1989): 54-58. Download here.
  • “Pearl Danniel: Homesteader in Big Dry Country.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 46, no. 3 (Autumn 1996): 62-70. Download here.
  •  “Helen P. Clarke in ‘The Age of Tribes’: Montana’s Changing Racial Landscape, 1870-1920.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 61, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 3-19. Download here.
  • “Montana Quilts and Quiltmakers: A History of Work and Beauty.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 58, no. 3 (Autumn 2008): 23-25, 33-47, 94-95. Download here.
  • “Capitalists with Rooms: Prostitution in Helena, Montana, 1865-1900.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 31, no. 2 (Spring 1981): 28-41. Download here.
  • “Changing Lives: Baptist Women, Benevolence, and Community on the Crow Reservation, 1904-60.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 61, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 3-29. Download here.
  • “‘Women’s Matters’: Birth Control, Prenatal Care, and Childbirth in Rural Montana, 1910-1940.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 41, no. 2 (Spring 1991): 47-56.Download here.
  • “Minerva Allen: Educator Linguist Poet.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 41, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 58-68. Download here.
  • “Montanans at Work: Businesswomen in Agricultural Communities.”Montana The Magazine of Western History 40, no. 3 (Summer 1990): 77-83. Download here.
  • “From Canning to Contraceptives: Cooperative Extension Service Home Demonstration Clubs and Rural Montana Women in the Post-World War II Era.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 61, no. 3 (Autumn 2011): 57-70. Download here.
  • “The Making of a Good Woman: Montana and the National Florence Crittenton Mission.” Montana The Magazine of Western History 53, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 50-63. Download here.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Summer Research Fellowship

Have a history project you've always wanted to research? This summer may be your chance.

The Montana Historical Society’s Research Center is pleased to announce the availability of the 2014 Dave Walter Research Fellowship.

This fellowship will be awarded to two Montana residents involved in a public history project focused on exploring local history. The award is intended to help Montanans conduct research on their towns, counties, and regions using resources at the Montana Historical Society. Research can be for any project related to exploring local history; including exhibit development, walking tours, oral history projects, building history/preservation, county or town histories, archaeological research, class projects, etc.  Fellowship awards of $1,250 each will be given to two researchers.

Recipients will be expected to:

  • travel to the MHS to conduct research 
  • spend a minimum of one week in residence conducting research 
  • provide a copy of their final product or a report on their completed project to the MHS Research Center 


Applications for the Dave Walter Research Fellowship are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • suitability of the research to the Society's collections 
  • potential of the project to make a contribution to local history 
  • experience in conducting local history research 

The application must include a cover letter; a project proposal, not to exceed 3 pages in length, describing the research, including the specific collections at the Montana Historical Society that you intend to use; a 1-2 page resume, and one letter of recommendation.

Applications must be sent as one PDF file to mhslibrary@mt.gov. Applications must be received on March 15, 2014.

Announcement of the award will be made in early April. Questions about the fellowship should be directed to mhslibrary@mt.gov or 406-444-2681.

For more information about the Dave Walter Research Fellowship or the Montana Historical Society and its collections visit the Research Center's web page.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Summer Workshops

It is never too early to think about summer.

I expect to have many other opportunities to share with you--but here are the first ones I've heard about.

Project Archaeology has three courses coming up this summer, two at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman (two sessions of Investigating a Plains Tipi) and one in Virginia City, MT (Educator Field School). I've heard rave reviews about "Investigating a Plains Tipi from elementary educators--but everything Project Archaeology does is top notch, so I bet the Educator Field School will be great too. To see course descriptions, follow this link.  

The Montana Writers Project and the Memorial Library are once again co-hosting "Worlds Apart but Not Strangers: Holocaust Education and  Indian Education for All." The FREE week-long workshop will be held in Missoula, July 20-26. Applications are due April 1, 2014. According to the flier, "This institute is designed for individuals who currently teach or are interested in teaching the Nazi Holocaust and/or Indian Education for All, and would like to discover ways to make connections between these topics. Relevant to teachers grades 4-12 as well as college and university faculty, the purpose of the course is to provide novice and experienced teachers with knowledge about and teaching strategies for Holocaust Education, Indian Education for All and community building, using literacy, and especially writing, as tools to drive inquiry." Learn more here. Download and application here. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Women's History Matters

As I mentioned in an earlier post on anniversaries, 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of women's suffrage in Montana. The Montana Historical Society decided to use this anniversary to raise the profile of women's history generally by shining a spotlight on Montana women's contributions, challenges and experiences over the past 200 years.

At the center of this project is our website: Women's History Matters. On the site, you will find

  • Bibliographies of manuscript collections, oral histories, government documents, pamphlets, magazine articles, videos and dvds, and published material
  • Over 130 articles published in Montana The Magazine of Western History to download and read
  •  Information on oral histories, including what’s been collected and how to conduct your own
  • Information on selected historic places–from homesteads to hospitals–associated with Montana women’s history
  • Resources specifically related to the suffrage campaign, including links to newspaper articles published in the Montana press debating the issue in 1914
  • Twice weekly blog posts that will feature a wide range of Montana women’s stories and topics, from women bootleggers and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union to early Virginia City business woman Sarah Bickford and twentieth-century Blackfeet banker Elouise Cobell. The blog will be updated Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Fridays, so visit often or subscribe to receive these posts in your mailbox (subscription information in the right-hand column of the home page.)
I'll be posting more about the Women's History Matters project throughout the year--especially as we add new curricular resources. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear from you about ways classroom teachers can use the resources on this site with their students.



Monday, January 6, 2014

Technology Changes Lives

In researching another project, I ran across this delightful post written by my colleague Ellen Baumler about refrigerators.

I loved it because it reminded me how much technology shapes everyday life. Thank goodness for refrigerators. And gas stoves! And vacuum cleaners! And modern plumbing!

Ellen's blog post features a newspaper advertisement. Ads are a great window into social history as well as an easy way to find out what technology was the latest and greatest in any particular era.

A simple and thought-provoking exercise is to ask your students to go "shopping." Have them look for an ideal gift for themselves and for an important adult in their life in your local newspaper. Then have them shop the ads from the time period you are studying by looking at newspapers digitized through Chronicling America, a "website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages." The site has papers from across the United States, including  200,000 pages from 32 different Montana newspapers, with more coming soon. (Thanks to Billings librarian Ruth Ferris for this idea.)

To look for specific technological innovations, use the "Advance Search" function and play with key word searches within a selected time period and/or place. (I like using the "within 5 words" search box best).

Happy shopping!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014: A Year of Anniversaries


Happy New Year everybody!

2014 is going to be the year of anniversaries.

It is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and Civil Rights Act. These two national laws greatly influenced Montana--and Montana senators Lee Metcalf and Mike Mansfield played important roles in their passage. Wilderness50th.org is the national clearinghouse for events and projects relating to the Wilderness Act's anniversary. Many organizations are creating projects around the Civil Rights Act--so many that it is hard to choose just one to feature. It never hurts, though, to go the source--in this case the National Archives, which created a Teaching with Documents Lesson Plan, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." 

2014 is the centennial of women's suffrage in Montana. The constitutional amendment giving Montana women the vote passed six years before women received the right to vote nationally. You'll be hearing a lot more about this over the course of the next year, but for now, I encourage you to visit the website we've created in the anniversary's honor, Women's History Matters (http://MontanaWomensHistory.org/) and to like the Montana Women's History Matters Facebook page.

2014 is also the 150th anniversary of the formation of Montana Territory. Humanities Montana has set up a Facebook page to share information on this sesquicentennial.

Finally, it is cowboy artist Charles M. Russell's 150th birthday. The Montana Historical Society (and no doubt, the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls) has big plans to celebrate this in March.

How, if at all, do anniversaries affect what you teach? Do students respond to these milestones?  Are they useful for focusing attention on sometimes overlooked topics? Or do you see them as distractions? Comments welcome as we head into this year of commemoration.