Montana Historical Society

Big Sky. Big Land. Big History.

Resources for Educators

Explore all of our resources below, organized by subject, or explore select resources organized by skill level: Elementary, Middle School, and High School.

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Professional Development  Earn OPI Renewal Units, discover exciting educational resources, and learn new ideas for engaging students by taking one or more of our self-paced online interactive modules or by attending one of our educator workshops. 

Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website Discover over twelve thousand years of Montana history. If you are working on a particular chapter at school, visit that chapter page for copies of the worksheets and interesting related links. You can also use the search function to find information about particular topics. Or you can read the online version of the book, Montana: Stories of the Land, cover to cover, since all twenty-two chapters have been posted as low-resolution pdf files. (Designed for use in middle school, but adaptable to elementary and high school: Lexile Level 1080L). Aligned to Montana Content Standards and the Essential Understandings, this comprehensive curriculum traces Montana history over the last twelve thousand years, and offers supporting lesson plans, worksheets, tests, and more. 

Hands-On History Footlockers  (Designed for grade 4 but used by teachers kindergarten through twelfth grade) Bring reproductions of clothing, tools, everyday objects, maps, photographs, documents to your classroom. User Guides with lesson plans and standards alignment accompany each footlocker.

Indian Education for All Lesson Plans  The Montana Historical Society has produced a number of lesson plans to help your students grasp the Essential Understandings regarding Montana Indians while learning more about specific Montana history topics.

Integrating Art and History  Discover visual art lesson plans on Charlie Russell, Montana's Cowboy Artist; Plains Indian pictographic art; and Plateau Indian beaded bags. Also discover a performing arts lesson plan, "Readers Theater: Letters Home from Montanans at War."

Teaching with Primary Sources  Discover the many lesson plans the Montana Historical Society has created that provide students an opportunity to analyze primary source material, including artwork, photographs, letters, diary entries, historic newspapers, and more.

Digital Projects Discover a myriad of digitized collections (including historical photographs, newspapers, and C. M. Russell art) and online exhibits, such as Montana and the Great WarAppropriate, Curious, & Rare: Montana History Object by Object, and Montana's African American Heritage Resources. Many of these digital projects have associated lesson plans.

Crossing Disciplines Find lesson plans that ask students to apply math skills to better understand the past or that teach both history and science, or history and art, or history and creative writing. Because almost all of our lessons align to both Montana Social Studies and English Language Art Standards, they are all interdisciplinary, but these lessons are particularly noteworthy for crossing disciplinary boundaries.

Teaching with Biographies  Find links to online biographies as well as lesson plans that ask students to investigate remarkable Montanans. 

Women's History Resources and Lesson Plans Discover an abundance of material on Montana's women's history, including fascinating stories, intriguing photographs, and detailed lesson plans.

Civics and Geography Looking for a lesson that explains the electoral process, provides an example of how laws affect individuals' lives, or introduces your students to Montana geography while improving their map reading skills? Find them here.  

Mining History Lesson Plans and Resources  Discover a wide array of resources for studying mining history, including a study guide to accompany the reminiscence, Girl from the Gulches: The Story of Mary Ronan, and a lesson plan to help students explore historic digitized newspapers.

Montana Mosaic: 20th-Century People and Events (Designed for use in high school, but adaptable to middle school). Aligned to Montana Content Standards and the Essential Understandings, Montana Mosaic explores twentieth-century Montana through twelve brief films. Copies of the DVD were sent to every middle and high school library in Montana. User guides are available as downloadable pdf files.

PowerPoint Lesson Plans These PowerPoint-based lesson plans provide you with the expertise of a guest speaker without the hassle and expense. Each has a PowerPoint and script (along with information on the standards the presentation addresses.) Topics range from Charlie Russell to Montana's twentieth-century immigrants.

National History Day  The Montana Historical Society is proud to support the Treasure State’s participation in National History Day, a nationwide contest that makes history come alive for America's youth by engaging them in the discovery of the historic, cultural and social experiences of the past.

Montana The Magazine of Western History Curriculum Guides (Designed for high school). Montana The Magazine of Western History has made all of the articles it published relating to women's history available for free download as part of the Montana Historical Society's Women's History Matters project. Additionally, all of the articles it has published that relate to World War I are available for free download as part of the Montana and the Great War project. It has also put several theme issues on-line along with ideas using the articles. These interdisciplinary lessons include full-text of the articles included in that issue along with discussion questions and suggestions for supplemental activities. Guides are available for the following special issues:

Tours  Arrange to bring your students to Helena to experience the museum, capitol, and Original Governor's Mansion first hand.

Montana History Links  Looking to research a particular topic in Montana History? Montana History Links is a good place to start.