Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

Montana: Stories of the Land

Companion Website and Online Teacher's Guide

Chapter 3 - From Dog Days to Horse Warriors

Educator Resources

Who Arrived in Montana When?

There is a fair amount of dissension among tribal cultural experts, historians, and others about when various tribes arrived in Montana and from where they came. We've done our best to present as accurate a story as we could in this chapter, but teachers should be aware that experts disagree. This might be a good place to talk about how we know what we know. (See Essential Understanding #3 for more details.)

Educational Trunks

  • Lifeways of Montana's First People from the Montana Historical Society. This trunk emphasizes the various tribal lifeways of the people who utilized the land we now know as Montana in the years around 1800.

  • Montana Indian Stories Lit Kit from the Montana Historical Society.This trunk immerses students in storytelling and the oral tradition withseven class sets of Montana Indian stories collected for the Indian Reading Series (1972) and reprinted by the Montana Historical Society Press. The lit kit includes animal puppets and User Guide. NOTE: Out of respect for the storytelling customs of many Montana Indian people, this kit will be made available for use in the winter months (November through March).


Inspired by reading specialist Tammy Elser, who was in turn inspired by SKC graduate Taylor Crawford, we've created a "Takeaway" bookmark for every chapter of Montana: Stories of the Land. Before starting a chapter, print and cut out these bookmarks and distribute them to your students. Ask them to use the Takeaway to summarize the GIST of what they learn from reading assigned sections of the chapter. Remind them that they don't have much room, so they'll need to think before they write down the most important idea they want to take away from the section. Learn a little more about the GIST strategy.

Even though we've created Takeaways for every chapter, we don't recommend you have your students complete a Takeaway for every section of every chapter they read. That would be exceedingly tedious. However, used appropriately, they can be a useful tool for encouraging reflection and teaching students how to summarize information.

Websites and Online Lesson Plans

Videos or DVDs

Possible Fieldtrips: View the Map

Alignment to ELA Common Core Standards

Alignment to Content Standards and Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians (EU)

Tests and Answer Keys

Double Ball
Detail, "Double Ball," illustration from North American Indians . . . 1832-1839, vol. 2, by George Catlin (Edinburgh, 1926)
Mounted Warriors
Detail, Mounted Warriors, drawing by White Bear, Montana Historical Society Museum X1961.16.03
Preparing and Cooking Camas
Detail, Preparing and Cooking Camas, Gary Schildt, Montana Historical Society Museum
Ceremony for Successful Buffalo Hunt
Detail, Ceremony for Successful Buffalo Hunt, William Standing, Montana Historical Society Museum