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Chapter 2 - People of the Dog Days

Additional Information and Resources for Chapter 2

The Bering Strait Controversy

More on Creation Stories - Sacred and Ceremonial

Educational Trunks

History Mystery: Sacrifice Cliffs Kit, from the BLM Billings Curation Center (BCC) and the Western Heritage Center. Designed for middle and high school students, the kit invites students to investigate the historical mystery of Sacrifice Cliffs and to explore various types of evidence to learn the "who, where, when, why and how" of the local legend.

Stones and Bones: Prehistoric Tools from Montana’s Past from the Montana Historical Society. This trunk looks at the earliest evidence of Montana's human history through a study of casts and reproduction stone and bone tools from the Anzick collection found in Wilsall, Montana.

Pictograph Cave Interpretive Trunk (Life at Pictograph Cave) from Montana State Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena. This trunk focuses on archaeology in Montana. It contains pictograph and artifact replicas, a video, slide show, and lesson plans.

Prehistoric Life in Montana from the Montana Historical Society. This trunk focuses on Pictograph Cave to explore what life was like in Montana 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.


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

Montana Ancient Teachings: A Curriculum for Montana Archaeology and Prehistory offers an in-depth curriculum to introduce elementary and middle school students to the world of archaeology and to what archaeologists have learned about Montana prehistory through archaeology and related scientific disciplines.

Project Archaeology: Investigating the First Peoples, the Clovis Child Burial examines new findings about the Anzick site near Wilsall, the oldest documented archaeological site in North America. Designed for grades 8-12, the curriculum asks students to read current news reports, write an archaeology discovery report, debate the ethics of studying ancient human remains, write a persuasive essay and join students from across the nation in creating memorials to the Clovis Child.

The Montana Historical Society has created a lesson plan, "What They Left Behind," to accompany this PowerPoint presentation on the various types of archaeological sites found in Montana.

"Native American Trade Routes and the Barter Economy" includes two learning activities designed for use in grades seven through nine, Activity One, "Resources and Routes," focuses primarily on mapping pre-contact trade routes, with a special emphasis on Montana. Activity Two, "Trading Times," asks students to simulate the process through which various products from different regional tribes were bartered and disseminated to gain a better understanding of pre-contact barter economy and how it compares with the modern-day cash economy.

The National Park Service Archeology Program is a one-stop-shop for teachers seeking online activities for kids, lesson plans, informational resources, and links to other sites.

Salmon Lake State Park created "Ancient Highways-Native Byways," a lesson plan on early transportation corridors.

Find origin stories for all the tribes (and summaries of later history) at

Making an Atlatl provides detailed instructions on how students can make atlatls and darts while learning more about the physics behind this ancient technology and the tremendous skill it took to hunt large games in the pre-contact era.

Videos or DVDs

The Creation, Origin, Separation and Migration of the Crow Nation is part of a 5 DVD set on the Crow Tribe, created by the Western Heritage Center American Indian Tribal Histories Project.

The Cheyenne Creation Story is part of a 5 DVD set on the Northern Cheyenne tribe, created by the Western Heritage Center American Indian Tribal Histories Project.

Possible Fieldtrips

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, near Great Falls. (Related IEFA lesson plans are available.)

Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, near Three Forks. (Related IEFA lesson plans are available.)

Pictograph Cave State Park, near Billings. (Related IEFA lesson plans are available.)

Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump, near Havre.

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

Tests and Answer Keys



Ice Age people, courtesy Montana Department of Transportation



Detail, Camas Gathering, Gary Schildt, Montana Historical Society Museum



Warrior with bow and arrow from Pictograph Cave, courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and MSU COT



Oscar Lewis at Pictograph Cave, photo by Bill Browne, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives PAc 90-96 Sheet 1, #7