The Montana Historical Society Museum features both long-term and temporary
exhibits. Currently, the education program offers a variety of docent-led,
age-appropriate tours of the Montana Homeland exhibit, Neither Empty nor
Unknown: Montana at the Time of Lewis and Clark exhibit, and the Mackay
Gallery of Charles M. Russell Art. Pre-visit and post-visit lesson for some
tours are also available on-line for teachers to complete with their
students before and after their visits to the Museum.
Group tours of the Museum - whether docent-led or self-guided - are offered free
of charge to school groups and other youth organizations. For adult groups
and bus tours, the cost is $5.00 per person.
To schedule a tour call 406-444-4794 or email
Montana Homeland exhibit
Indian Touch and Learn (Grades K-3)
- Explore how the bison provided for
the Indians through the use of hands-on artifacts, and compare and contrast
life today with the lifeways of Montana Indians 200 years ago. Pre-visit
Lesson; Post-visit Lesson.
A Week in 1903 (Grades K-3)
- Discover what a week in the life of
Elizabeth and Robert Harris of Helena was like. A reading from 11-year-old
Elizabeth Harris' diary is accompanied by hands-on artifacts. This tour is a
great experience for classes studying the late 19th and early 20th
From Tenderfoot to Trapper: Mountain Men and the Fur Trade (Grades 2-3)
Rendezvous with Montana history and learn about the life of a fur trapper
and how trading was done. Investigate hands-on objects and animal hides,
listen to a tall tale. Pre-visit Lesson; Post-visit Lesson.
Mission: History (Grades 7-8)
- Students assume the roles of an
archaeologist, anthropologist, professor, historian and curator to see how
these professions all work to uncover and preserve the past. Students gain
knowledge of Montana History by revealing Montana's past from different
Guided Research (Grades 9-12) - The Guided Research tour is a
carefully crafted set of questions that provides students with an
opportunity to take an in-depth look at Montana's history. This tour
promotes group work, along with the idea of students "teaching" and learning
from each other. It is a program that engages students, teachers, and
A Journey Through Time: Montana Homeland (Adult) - An introduction to
how people throughout Montana history have lived and worked in communities
in our Montana Homeland exhibit. The tour is interactive and utilizes
hands-on, reproduction artifacts. Visitors are also introduced to historical
patterns and to how a museum works.
Neither Empty nor Unknown: Montana at the Time of Lewis and Clark exhibit
Montana at the Time of Lewis and Clark (all ages)
- This exhibit will show
Montana c.1805 through replica landforms, art and illustration, Indian
artifacts, Native-made reproductions, taxidermy and plant specimens. It will
also illustrate the rich, diverse and abundant plant and animal species
found in Montana's environment at that time and will provide participatory
activities throughout the exhibit that both children and adults will enjoy.
Ethnobotany Tour and activity (grades 6-8)
- Although we think of
wild game (mainly the buffalo) as the main source of Montana Indians primary
sustenance, we often overlook the role played by plants. This guided tour
will provide students with an understanding of how Montana's First People
used their natural
environment to provide for their everyday needs.
Mackay Gallery of Charles M. Russell Art.Russell's Rascals (Grades 2-3)
- Uncover stories about cowboys, Indians, and
animals in Charlie Russell's art, as well as how paintings can express
emotions and communicate sensory messages. Family Guide to the MacKay
Gallery of C.M. Russell Art.
Russell Round-up (Grades 4-7)
- Interact with the art of Charles M. Russell,
Montana's Cowboys Artist, and discover how he used his cowboy experiences as
a basis for the stories in his paintings. Students learn art-analysis skills
and episodes from Montana history as depicted by Russell. Includes gallery
activity. Family Guide to the Mackay Gallery of C.M. Russell Art.
Russell's West (Grades 8-12)
- Survey the art of Charles M. Russell and see
how he captured the romantic myth of the West in the stories and historical
events, real and mythical, he portrayed on canvas. Includes gallery
Montana's Cowboy Artist: C.M. Russell (Adult)
- Charles M. Russell captured
the romantic myth of the West in the stories of his paintings. Visitors will
see how Russell captured historical events, real and mythical, on canvas.
How to Schedule a Tour of the Museum
Please contact us at least two weeks in advance. For tours planned during
legislative sessions or the month of May, it is advisable to make
arrangements a month in advance as these time slots fill early.
To book a tour, please call (406) 444-4794 or email
. To facilitate the
process please provide the following information:
- Preferred Tour Date
- Preferred Tour Times
- Size and grade level/age of your group
- Special needs or considerations
- Which tours you would like
Once we have scheduled your tour, we will mail you a reservation
confirmation form, and if applicable, an invoice for your admission fee.
Payment can either be made in advance or at the time of your visit.
Would You Prefer to Tour the Museum on Your Own?
Students and youth groups are welcome to tour the Society without a guide.
We require that you provide one adult chaperone for every five students, and
that the chaperone remains with the students at all times while visiting the
To help ensure an enjoyable visit and avoid any potential conflicts or
disappointments, we suggest that you call us at (406) 444-4794 or email
to inform us of your proposed arrival dates and times, and
the number of students in your group. We also recommend that teachers
provide students with in-gallery assignments or activities to be make sure
that they receive the most benefit from their visits.