For teachers

Women and Sports: Tracking Change Over Time Lesson Plan

(Designed for grades 4-8) In this lesson aligned to both Common Core ELA and Math standards, students learn about how Title IX (a federal civil rights law enacted in 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education) changed girls’ opportunities to participate in school sports by collecting and analyzing the data to look at change in women’s sports participation over time.

Hazel Hunkins, Billings Suffragist: A Primary Source Investigation Lesson Plan 

(Designed for grades 7-12) In this lesson, student historians will analyze photos, letters, newspaper articles, and other sources to learn more about the suffrage movement as experienced by Billings, Montana, native and National Woman’s Party activist Hazel Hunkins.

Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things! Connecting Biography to Larger Social Themes Lesson Plan

(Designed for grades 8-12) This lesson uses essays published on the Women’s History Matters website to help students explore how ordinary people’s lives intersect with larger historical events and trends and to investigate how people’s choices impact their communities. After analyzing two essays on American Indian women from the Women’s History Matters website, students are asked to conduct interviews with people in their own community to learn about how that person has chosen to shape the world around him or her.

Montana Women at Work: Clothesline Timeline Lesson Plan

Blackfeet woman telephone operator, 1925, sitting at a hotel telephone exchange desk, wearing a blanket and feathers in her hair.(Designed for grades 4-12) This primary-source based lesson asks students to analyze historic photographs to draw conclusions about women and work from the 1870s through the 2010s. Students will discover that Montana women have always worked, but that discrimination, cultural expectations, and changing technology have influenced the types of work women undertook.

New! Montana Women’s Legal History Lesson Plan

(Designed for grades 11-12). In this 1-2 period activity, students will examine sample Montana legislation from 1871 to 1991 that particularly affected women’s lives to explore the impact laws have on the lives of ordinary people and why laws change.

Biographical Poems Celebrating Amazing Montana Women Lesson Plan

(Designed for grades 4-6) This lesson asks students to research specific Montana women (by reading biographical essays) and to use the information they gather to create biographical poems. Through their research (and by hearing their classmates’ poems) they will recognize that there is no single “woman’s experience”; women’s lives are diverse and that people can make a difference in their communities.

A Beautiful Tradition:  Ingenuity and Adaptation in a Century of Plateau Women’s Art

A mother and daughter in ceremonial dress on the Flathead Reservation in July 1906.
A mother and daughter in ceremonial dress on the Flathead Reservation in July 1906. Photo by R.H. Willcomb, MHS Photo Archives 954-553

(Designed for grades 4-12) These materials are designed to provide you and your students with a way to study this colorful art form while incorporating Indian Education for All in your classroom. There are three grade-appropriate versions of this curriculum: fourth/fifth grade, middle school, and high school. These interdisciplinary units include grade appropriate lesson plans aligned with the Essential Understandings; PowerPoint presentations; worksheets; and other material.

Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan Study Guide

Cover image of "Girl From the Gulches."(Designed for grades 6-10). This study guide includes lesson plans, vocabulary, chapter summaries and questions, alignment to the Common Core, and other information to facilitate classroom use of Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan, as told to Margaret Ronan, edited by Ellen Baumler. Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, this highly readable 222-page memoir details Mary Sheehan Ronan’s journey across the Great Plains, her childhood on the Colorado and Montana mining frontiers, her ascent to young womanhood in Southern California, her return to Montana as a young bride, and her life on the Flathead Indian Reservation as the wife of an Indian agent. Book One, which provides a child’s-eye view of the mining frontier, is available to download as a pdf. Classroom sets of Girl from the Gulches can be purchased from the Montana Historical Society Museum Store by calling toll free 1-800-243-9900.

Montana Biographies

The Montana Historical Society profiled 48 influential Montanans, 24 of whom are women. From linguist Minerva Allen to movie star Myrna Loy and jazz pianist Jean Wrobel, this is a great resource for student research projects.

Oral History in the Classroom

Bring the voices of history into your classroom with these tools.  Encourage your students to conduct oral histories with their mothers, aunts, neighbors, and community leaders.  Teach them the value of listening as well as critical questioning skills.  Consider donating the finished product to your local history museum or to the Montana Historical Society.

Women’s History Articles from Montana: The Magazine of Western History

Spring 2013 Montana The Magazine of Western History cover featuring a woman on a bucking horse.Montana: The Magazine of Western History boasts a long tradition of excellence.  First published in 1951, the publication prides itself on rigorous peer-reviewed scholarship and on bringing the stories of Montana to its people and to an international audience.  Over 130 articles about Montana women are available to download via the Women’s History Matters Project.  These historically accurate yet highly readable articles will complement high school U.S. and Montana History lesson plans.

Online Streaming Video Resources

The WHM project has compiled a list of streaming videos  which could be used in the classroom, including several lectures and events taped by the MHS and uploaded to Youtube.  The list also contains several PBS Montana programs, including Evelyn Cameron: Pictures From a Worthy Life and Playing for the World, the story of the Fort Shaw women’s basketball team.

5 thoughts on “For teachers

  1. My grandmother and her sister Eileen homesteaded their own property in Montana. I have photos of them in front of their homestead “shacks/huts”, but I cannot find any evidence of their homestead deeds, applications, etc. that would prove that they did homestead. They, my grandmother and her sister, also taught school in a one room school house. Is there any way that the state of Montana kept records of early teachers and homesteads? If so, where do I find this information?

    I also have a grandfather who had property in or near Lanark, MT. I would like to find proof of where he lived. He and my grandmother were married in Lanark, my mother was born there, and all of her siblings were born there. Unfortunately, there no documentation showing that any of them even existed. Why? How do I find any information?

    1. The BLM General Land Office Records website is often the best way to find homestead patents. Just enter the names and counties into their online form.

      We would be delighted if you wanted to come to the Montana Historical Society in Helena to conduct additional research. If you are not able to come in person, you can also submit a research request. Members of the Montana Historical Society receive two free research requests per year. Good luck with your search!

    2. Maybe this will help someone……I was looking for the rural school that my grandmother taught in 1927-28. I found it by looking at her Normal School’s newspaper. They listed all graduatess first location.

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