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Mining Childhood Classroom Resources

Published by the Montana Historical Society Press, Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 offers a child’s eye view of “the Richest Hill on Earth.” PDFs of several sections of Mining Childhood are available for teachers to download at no charge to share with their students. In addition, several lesson plans are available to help teach this material.

As part of the Montana Historical Society's Landmark Program, funded by National Endowment for the Humanities, Montana 2014 Teacher of the Year Anna Baldwin created lessons targeted to grades 4, 7-8, and 11 that use text excerpts, as well as historic photographs and other primary sources, to help students master new skills and explore questions such as how neighborhoods shape our identity as we grow up; how childhood play has changed; and how unions can both unify and divide people. Another lesson, created by Mississippi teacher Melinda Moore, uses excerpts from Mining Childhood to explore contrasting experiences of childhood.  

Each lesson is tied closely to the Common Core standards for English/Language Arts and suggests strategies for improving student literacy. Video clips provide a detailed view of how to implement one of the fourth grade lessons and a model for strategies to engage students in interpreting challenging texts. 

Download Excerpts

“Coming of Age in Wartime,” in “Chapter 1, Children of the Hill,” Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2012): 50-55.

 “Chapter 2, Mining Childhood,” in Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2012): 64-110.

“Chapter 4, Child’s Play: Risk and Resilience,” in Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2012): 135-77.

"Historical Perspective" and "Newsboys" in “Chapter 6, Learning to Labor," Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2012): 218-27.

“Chapter 7, Memories of a McQueen Childhood,” in Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960 (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 2012): 249-77.
 

Download Lesson Plans

Grade 4: Play Places in Butte Lesson Plan and Columbia Gardens Knowledge Rating Sheet

Grade 4: Mapping Butte, before and after the Berkeley Pit and Patrick Sullivan's Map of Butte

Grades 7-8: Unions and Strikes and Conflict Resolution and Frayer Chart

Grades 7-8: Descriptive Childhood

Grades 10-12: Butte Newsboys and the Industrial Workers of the World 

Grades 10-12: Cadet Nurses Corps

 

Teaching Techniques

The following video clips demonstrate techniques used in the lesson "Play Places in Butte." Modeling the lesson are lesson creator Anna Baldwin, fourth-grade teacher Dan Ries, and Mr. Ries's students at Arlee Elementary School, Arlee, Montana.

Play Places in Butte, Part 1—Columbia Gardens: Photograph as Primary Source

Play Places in Butte, Part 2—Mineyards and Railway Tracks: Memoir as Primary Source

Play Places in Butte, Part 3—Remembering Columbia Gardens, Knowledge Rating

Play Places in Butte, Part 4—Remembering Columbia Gardens, Knowledge Rating continued

Play Places in Butte, Part 5—Remembering Columbia Gardens, Learning from Oral History

Play Places in Butte, Part 6—Putting the Evidence Together: What Did Columbia Gardens Mean to Butte’s Children?