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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 8

Length: 23-115 min.

Grade Levels:
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Social Studies

Native Americans: Regional Learning Project

Sponsored by the University of Montana, the Regional Learning Project is a collection of documentary films and educational DVDs about American Indians and regional history. Most of the titles are divided into chapters for easy integration into the classroom. Teacher guides are available for each title.

Episode Guide

1. Long¬† Before We Were Born – This DVD explores the concept of how people lived before modern conveniences. Topics include food and water, shelter, staying warm, money, transportation, and communication within the context of the “natural community.” The DVD also includes a Klallam story told by Elaine Grinnel (Jamestown S’Klallam). 2nd – 3rd grade. 45 minutes, chaptered.

2. How Tribes Got Their Names: A Montana Example – This DVD introduces the twelve tribes of Montana, signs for the tribes, and names they call themselves. Through map reference, students learn where tribes used to live and where they live now. They will also discover how incorrectly interpreted sign language caused long-lasting misunderstandings. 4th – 5th grade. 30 minutes, chaptered.

3. Talking Without Words in the Old West – Students learn about the challenges people face when communicating with people who speak another language. Drawing on a wealth of historical resources, this DVD focuses on non-verbal ways native peoples of the old west communicated with each other and with Europeans. 5th – 6th grade. 23 minutes, chaptered.

4. Native Homelands along the Lewis & Clark Trail – Presenting another experience of American history, tribal members from the Knife River villages of North Dakota to the inhabitants at the mouth of the Columbia River share their cultures and history from the time period of the Lewis and Clark expedition. 4th – 10th grade. 45 minutes.

5. Contemporary Voices along the Lewis & Clark Trail – This documentary film examines the dramatic changes in the cultures and way of life of native peoples since their first contact with Europeans, as seen through the perspectives of 18 men and women representing 13 tribes from the hills of Kansas to the mouth of the Columbia River. 9th – 12th grade. 28 minutes.

6. Tribal Perspectives on American History, Volume I – Indian people from the Northwest tell another version of history from the one typically taught in school. Instead of the familiar themes of exploration, mining, and settlement, this video recounts history from the viewpoints of tribes. Chapters in the DVD complement those of most textbooks. 7th – 12th grade. 75 minutes, chaptered.

7. Tribal Perspectives on American History, Volume II – This DVD integrates the traditions, histories, and cultures of the Indian peoples from the Great Plains and the Upper Missouri Basin into the traditional history classroom in an engaging and thoughtful manner. 7th – 12th grade. 115 minutes, chaptered.

8. Why Save a Language? – Tribal languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. This film reviews the history of indigenous language loss, documents current efforts to stem the tide, and explores the reasons these languages matter not only for the tribes themselves but for all of us. 9th – 12th grade. 27 minutes.

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