Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

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Montana: Stories of the Land

Companion Website and Online Teacher's Guide

Chapter 6 - Montana's Gold and Silver Boom, 1862-1893

Educator Resources

Educational Trunks

  • Gold Silver and Coal Oh My!: Mining Montana's Wealth from the Montana Historical Society. This trunk chronicles the discoveries that drew people to Montana in the late nineteenth century and examines how the mining industry developed and declined. Take a seven-minute video tour of some of the objects in the trunk.

  • East Meets West: The Chinese Experience in Montana from the Montana Historical Society. This trunk chronicles the lives of the Chinese who came to Montana, the customs that they brought with them to America, how they contributed to Montana communities, and why they left.

  • Getting the Gold from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. These trunks cover hard rock and placer mining through activities and artifacts depicting the gold mining history in Bannack. (Scroll down and click on Teacher Resources to learn more.)


  • 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

Hydraulic Mining
Hydraulic mining in Alder Gulch, M.T., ca. 1869-71, photo by W. H. Jackson of the Hayden Survey, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives, Mines and Mining
Walter S. Corwin
Walter S. Corwin, photo by E. H. Train, Helena, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives, Mines and Mining
Indian Camp
Indian Camp with Mt. Helena in the distance, ca. 1874, photo by Bundy and Train, Helena, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives 953-370
Pioneer City
Detail of photograph of Pioneer City, M.T., 1883, photo by F. Jay Haynes, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives, Haynes Foundation Coll. H-1098